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DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST LECTURE SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE CONTINUES SEPTEMBER 23 WITH OLIVER SACKS Renowned Neurologist and Best-Selling Author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Will Speak About His Boyhood Love of Science

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Best-selling author and renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks will speak at Bard on Saturday, September 23, as part of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series. His talk, "Brilliant Light: Memoirs of a Chemical Childhood," will take place at 2:00 p.m. in Olin Hall and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.

A clinical professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, Sacks is best known for his compassionate case studies of patients with neurological disorders ranging from color blindness to sleeping sickness. His seven books include: The Island of the Colorblind, An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings, which was subsequently made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. In a 1995 book review of An Anthropologist on Mars, Richard Locke of the Wall Street Journal wrote, "It is Dr. Sacks's gift that he has found a way to enlarge our experience and understanding of what the human is."

Sacks is currently working on a memoir focusing on his boyhood fascination with science while growing up in London during World War II. In an essay published last December in the New Yorker, Sacks wrote about inspirational visits to his Uncle "Tungsten’s" lightbulb factory and the excitement of conducting his own experiments in a converted laundry room at his family’s home. "My first taste was for the spectacular—the frothings, the incandescences, the stinks and the bangs, which almost define an entry into chemistry," Sacks wrote. "I wanted to be a chemist. A sort of eighteenth-century chemist coming fresh to the field, looking at the whole, undiscovered world of natural substances and minerals, analyzing them, plumbing their secrets, finding the wonder of new and unknown metals."

Sacks, who obtained his medical degree from Oxford University in 1958, is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at New York University Medical Center and a consulting neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor and Beth Abraham Hospital. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989 for his work on Tourette’s syndrome and was recently elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

For more information about Oliver Sacks’s lecture or the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series, call 845-758-7508.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001