Carl Djerassi, chemist who developed the pill, to speak at UI symposium March 8

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(Article Source: Iowa Now)

Author and chemist Carl Djerassi will give a keynote address at the symposium “Pill and Pen: Contraception and Unwanted Pregnancy in Literature and Popular Culture.” The symposium will be held Friday, March 7 through Sunday, March 9 in various locations across the University of Iowa campus.

There is no registration requirement. All presentations, lectures, and screenings are free and open to the public. Students and scholars are encouraged to attend.

Djerassi will speak on “The Rise and Demise of the Pill” Saturday, March 8 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. A full schedule of events and list of speakers can be found on the symposium website.

At the impressive age of 90, Djerassi, who has received more than 30 honorary doctorates from universities around the world, is a highly entertaining and provocative speaker. His combined expertise as a scientist and writer will introduce the symposium with what organizers say will be “an unusual and highly sophisticated keynote.”

Djerassi is an Austrian-born scientist who fled his country after the invasion of Hitler-Germany and eventually found a new home in the United States. One of the most prolific scientists of the 20th century, he has authored more than 1,000 research papers, five novels, eight plays, a book of poetry, volume of short stories, and a docudrama.

The chemist and author is currently a professor emeritus at Stanford University where he has been teaching since 1960. Djerassi likes to refer to himself as the “mother” of the birth-control pill for his role in creating a man-made form of progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone in females.

The Pill and Pen symposium is sponsored by the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the departments of Chemistry; Cinema and Comparative Literature; and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Other sponsors include the Global Health Studies Program and the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies in International Programs, and the department of Pharmacology in the Carver College of Medicine. The event is also made possible by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Honors Program and the Center for Human Rights in the UI College of Law.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Waltraud Maierhofer in advance at waltraud-maierhofer@uiowa.edu or at 866-465-1607.

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