A Contagious Cause: Robin Wolfe Scheffler AB '07

University of Chicago Press
The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine. The author will be giving a public lecture 7PM on Wednesday, October 2, at The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South.

contagiouscauseA Contagious Cause (University of Chicago Press) is the first book to trace the century-long hunt for a human cancer virus in America, an effort whose scale exceeded that of the Human Genome Project. The government’s campaign merged the worlds of molecular biology, public health, and military planning in the name of translating laboratory discoveries into useful medical therapies. However, its expansion into biomedical research sparked fierce conflict.

Many biologists dismissed the suggestion that research should be planned and the idea of curing cancer by a vaccine or any other means as unrealistic, if not dangerous. Although the American hunt was ultimately fruitless, this effort nonetheless profoundly shaped our understanding of life at its most fundamental levels. A Contagious Cause links laboratory and legislature as has rarely been done before, creating a new chapter in the histories of science and American politics.

The free public lecture by Robin on October 2 is open to the public and will be held at The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South.  To see the listing on the University of Chicago Press website, follow this link.