The Voyage and Discovery lecture series at Homewood returns next Tuesday night, March 4, as Benjamin Carson, the world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon and Johns Hopkins professor, delves into the story behind his extraordinary medical career.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Hodson Hall.
Carson, who was the inaugural speaker in this series when it debuted in spring 1999, is expected once again to have a standing-room-only audience. His first talk electrified and inspired the crowd, largely composed of Johns Hopkins undergraduates envisioning a career in the health professions.
Vinita Takiar and Steve McCartney, this year's co-chairs, said they worked to put together a series of speakers who could provide insights into what it's like to be a top-level medical researcher, surgeon, physician or administrator outside of work.
"There's obviously another dimension to being a physician--not just their research and work but how they make a life," said Takiar, a senior biophysics and English major, who recently was named by USA Today to its All-USA Academic Second Team.
McCartney, a junior biophysics major, said he remembers last year's opening speaker, Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatry professor and 2001 recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant," and how her talk made him want to get more involved in the lecture series. "It was a really inspiring lecture," he said.
Following spring break, Robert Lawrence of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-founder of the group Physicians for Human Rights and creator of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, will discuss "Health and Human Rights: The Struggle for Equity." on March 18. For his extraordinary career of medical service, Lawrence last fall was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.
Elizabeth M. Jaffee, a professor of oncology, immunology and cell and molecular medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, will talk on March 25 about her life and work.
"She's going to be a real star in the next 10 years," said Takiar of the young cancer researcher. "She's an M.D. only, but she spends 80 percent of her time in the lab." Jaffee, who is married and has a family, counters the stereotype "that you can't do research and have a family," Takiar said.
Rounding out the series on April 1 will be Ronald H. Fishbein, a former Johns Hopkins surgeon who now prepares undergraduates to apply to medical schools as assistant dean of Preprofessional Programs in the Office of Preprofessional Advising.
"He's a big proponent of humanism in medicine," said Takiar of Fishbein, who has created an intersession class and medical tutorial programs to help give undergraduates a sense of what the medical field will be like.
The title of Fishbein's talk will be "This I Have Learned."
The challenge for all the speakers, this year and in future series, said Takiar and McCartney, is that they're so used to talking about their research findings and their work, it may be difficult to switch gears and talk about themselves.
"Talking about yourself is so much more difficult to do," said Takiar.