The Class of 2024 Will Host the Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society Featuring Dorothy Roberts

North Carolina State University’s Park Scholarships Class of 2024 will host the Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Talley Student Union Piedmont/Mountain Ballroom. Dorothy Roberts, an American sociologist and law professor has been nominated to present the lecture.

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Dorothy Roberts photographed for Penn Gazette,
2016 Chris Crisman Photography LLC

The internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate has a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard University and an honorary J.D. from Rutgers University-Newark. She currently holds joint appointments at the University of Pennsylvania as the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology, and as the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. Her TEDMED talk, “The Problem with Race-Based Medicine” has garnered over one million views. 

A leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive freedom, child welfare, and bioethics, Roberts has authored an impressive array of publications. Including, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997/Vintage, 2017), Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2001), and Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2011), as well as co-editor of six books. She has also published more than 100 articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including the 2019 Foreword to Harvard Law Review’s Supreme Court issue, “Abolition Constitutionalism.”

Roberts’s research is nationally supported by fellowships and has served on several boards of directors including the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform and on the advisory boards of the Center for Genetics and Society, Generations Ahead, and Still She Rises.

The Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society was established by its namesake’s former students, associates, and friends in honor of Dr. Elkan’s 40-year career as a microbiology professor in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This lectureship supports an annual talk at NC State by a prominent thought leader. Dr. Elkan has been deeply involved with the Park Scholarships program since its inception in 1997. He and his associates worked closely with the Park Scholars of the Class of 2022 to select Thomas Hager as the third Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society speaker. Past recipients of the lectureship include water quality engineer Dr. Marc Edwards and renowned health policy expert Dr. Nicole Lurie.