Journalist to discuss the ‘Ultimate Culture War’ Oct. 6

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BELOIT, Wis.—Stephen S. Hall, one of today’s premiere science writers, understands how society’s decisions and attitudes affect global policy on contemporary scientific issues. He will address these issues in a talk, “Science: The Ultimate Culture War,” at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, in the Moore Study Lounge in Pearsons Hall, on the Beloit College campus.

Hall will examine current controversial issues such as stem cell research, cloning, drug development and the decision to go to war in Iraq. His discussion will consider how society approaches these matters and will analyze the role that critical scientific thinking can and should play in the development of policy.

Hall specializes in exploring the impact of science on the culture at large. He has recently published articles on topics such as the biology of fear, the biology of memory, adolescent male body image, MRI experiments on his own brain and the science of embryonic stem cells. Hall regularly contributes to the New York Times Magazine, New York Times Book Review, Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Technology Review, and other publications.

A 1973 graduate of Beloit College, Hall began his journalism career at age 16 at the Chicago Tribune. He has worked as a sports writer for the Washington Post, a general assignment reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle and a general editor at the Rome Daily American. He has also served as the science editor for the New York Times Magazine.

Hall is the author of several nonfiction books, including the most recent Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension (2003). His three previous works, A Commotion in the Blood (1997), Mapping the Next Millennium (1992) and Invisible Frontiers (1987), have all been respectively selected as “Notable Books of the Year” by the New York Times Book Review. A Commotion in the Blood, an account of how the immune system battles cancer and other diseases, also received the Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute.

This lecture is part of the 2004-2005 Beloit College “Year of World Citizenship, Science and Technology” series, which brings lectures, films and exhibits to the college.

For more information regarding this presentation or a complete list of events in the series, log on to the college’s Web site at and click on “Campus Calendars.”

The lecture is free and open to the public.

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