Celebrate Iowa connection to Silent Spring and sustainability

My Friend, Rachel Carson: Shirley Briggs and the Iowa Connection to Silent Spring

Rachel CarsonFifty years ago, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a lucid and compelling book about how DDT and other pesticides were damaging the environment and human health. The book called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world and became an inspiration for the environmental movement. One of Carson’s staunchest advocates and closest friends was Iowan Shirley Briggs, who met Carson when they worked together at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1940s.

To recognize this Iowa connection to Silent Spring  the University of Iowa Libraries and Office of Sustainability are presenting a symposium and exhibition opening, Thursday, Nov. 15, inspired by the extensive collection of Briggs’ diaries, letters, photos and artwork in the Iowa Women’s Archives.

 A Sense of Wonder, a short film about the last days of Rachel Carson as she struggled with cancer, will be shown from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn Street.

The symposium begins at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in Phillips Hall Auditorium (100 PH), followed by an opening reception in the UI Sciences Library, where an exhibit of Briggs’ photos, writings, art work and memorabilia will be on display through Jan. 7.

See our library guide at http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/carson-briggs for more information on Rachel Carson, Shirley Briggs, and Silent Spring.

poster of information

All events are free and open to the public.


Genetics in Literature, Life and the Lab talk on November 1

image of frankenstein

“Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature” is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) traveling exhibit that explores  the original novel, adaptations, and cultural uses.  Published in 1818 by Mary Shelley when she was still in her teens, Frankenstein has captivated people ever since, exposing hidden, sometimes barely conscious fears of science and technology. The exhibit considers how Shelley’s unfortunate creature frequently provides a framework for discussions of contemporary biomedical advances such as cloning, which challenge our traditional understanding of what it means to be human.

The exhibit is on display at the second floor south entrance of University Capitol Centre (UCC) through Nov. 2.

A public talk will echo the exhibit’s themes. “Genetics in Literature, Life, and the Laboratory,” will be the subject of a talk by Ellen Wright Clayton and Jay Clayton, Vanderbilt University professors who have worked together on NIH projects. The talk begins at 7pm., Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.

A panel discussion follows the talk.  Panelists include Sheldon Kurtz, Law Professor, Dr. Christian Simon, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine and Bioethics and Humanities, and Amy Sparks, In Vitro Fertilization and Reproductive Testing Lab, UIHC.

For more information on Frankenstein, please see the guide prepared by Hardin Library Staff: http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/frankenstein

New Exhibit at Hardin

There’s a new exhibit at the Hardin Library, 3rd floor near the front door.

Title:  Cutting for the Stone

This exhibit includes information about lithotomy (the removal of bladder stones), which is perhaps the least well-known of the ancient surgical procedures.  Bladder stones have been recorded as far back as 6,500 B.C.    Hippocrates warned that young physicians should not risk performing the complex procedure but rather rely on lithotomists.  The exhibit highlights famous suffers from the 1600-1700’s. Bizarre facts and records are revealed.

Jean Civiale, in the early 19th century, collected data about optional lithotomy procedures, thus being the first known physician to practice Evidence Based Medicine.

bladder stone
bladder stone

Permanent Exhibit Honors Dr. Hardin

A permanent exhibit honoring Dr. Robert C. Hardin, for whom the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences is named, is now on display near the Library’s 3rd floor entrance.  In addition to performing pioneering research in blood banking and transfusion and in diabetes, Dr. Hardin was instrumental in the current design of the University of Iowa’s health sciences campus.

In addition to the exhibit, more information about Dr. Hardin is available here.picture of Dr. Hardin

The Herbals: Sources of Health and Beauty – Open House

The History of Medicine Society and the University Libraries invite you to an Open House in the John Martin Rare Book Room.

The Herbals: Sources of Health and Beauty

Thursday, March 22, 2012, 4:00-7:30

Over 30 Herbals including facsimiles of medieval manuscripts, classic herbals from the 17th and 18 centuries, and 19th century reference books and manuals will be on display.  There will also be a special exhibit on conservation and restoration techniques used on the 17th century Mattioli.

Exhibit at Hardin: Doctors in the Movies

Doctors in the Movies: a Cinematic History is on exhibit at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences through May 13.

The exhibit explains the way the medical profession–especially doctors–have been portrayed in film over the last 80 years.  Doctors and medical institutions have been depicted as respectful and reverential (Men in White,  Dr. Kildare) to questioning and cynical (The Hospital, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).  The exhibit also explores the way African American and female  doctors have been portrayed in film over the years.Doctors in the Movies was prepared by Mark Onken, Evening Supervisor at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.

New Exhibit: Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy.

An exhibit exploring Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine is currently on display on the third floor of the Hardin Library.    Developed by the National Library of Medicine of the  National Institutes of Health and using materials from the NLM, it will be on display through January 28.