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UW Bothell freshmen to lead Common Book Conference

The Common Book is a UW Bothell initiative that engages first year students, faculty and community members in the reading and discussions of one book.

Students of B CUSP 134 will take the lead in a book discussion at the fall Common Book Conference from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the North Creek Events Center on the UW Bothell campus. Students will discuss and present works on the story behind the HeLa cells and how they’ve revolutionized the medical field.

This year’s Common Book is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Author Rebecca Skloot spent a decade tracking down facts about cells that were taken from a poor African American tobacco farmer without her knowledge. Bought and sold by the billions, those cells became the foundation of some of the greatest innovations in medicine, yet Lacks’ family is unable to afford health insurance.

First year student Feruza Ghias said the Common Book experience has been very enriching.

“I am grateful for the experience,” said Ghias. “I got a lot out of the discussions when other students shared their own interpretations and understanding of historical references from Henrietta Lacks lifetime. I also learned a lot about different topics.”

In fact, students and faculty of B CUSP 134 have covered a number of topics through the study of this single book, including poverty, privacy, research, science, race, class, gender and social justice.

The discussion is free. The North Creek Events Center is located at 18115 Campus Way NE.

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