Bruce Stillman Headlines National Institute's Annual Luncheon

Dr. Bruce Stillman at the Issues Discussion Luncheon (Credit: Michael Dames/National Institute of Social Sciences)

Dr. Bruce Stillman at the Issues Discussion Luncheon (Credit: Michael Dames/National Institute of Social Sciences)

The National Institute of Social Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest honorary societies, welcomed 70 guests to its annual Issues Discussion Luncheon on Monday, June 5. The luncheon, which was held in midtown Manhattan, is the major event in the National Institute’s spring calendar.

Chauncey G. Olinger, Jr., the National Institute’s president, welcomed the guests, noting that this event marked the 26th year that the National Institute has held an issues discussion luncheon in New York City.

The luncheon program began with brief remarks from Dr. Zachary Cooper and Mr. Hirokazu Shirado, a previous and the current recipient of a National Institute’s Seed Grant. Dr. Cooper, who earned his doctorate at Princeton and is now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, noted that the Seed Grant was "hugely important in completing my work." Mr. Shirado, who is completing his degree in Yale's Sociology Department, credited his Seed Grant with "keeping my studies going."

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The keynote speaker was Dr. Bruce Stillman, the president and chief executive officer of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who discussed the rise of gene-editing techniques and their implications for the modern world.

"We are in the middle of a scientific revolution," Dr. Stillman said.

Through artificial selection, "humans have been intervening in the way species look for a long, long time.” But the development of new gene-editing techniques, including CRISPR-Cas9, has raised new possibilities and questions. "Secondary effects are now the reason people are hesitant about gene editing," he said.

This explosion of new knowledge means that scientific literacy is more important than ever. Yet, Dr. Stillman worried that science faced new threats in today’s political environment. “Scientific education in some parts of the country is being suppressed,” he said.

About the National Institute of Social Sciences
Established in 1912, the National Institute of Social Sciences (www.socialsciencesinstitute.org) is an honorary society of Americans dedicated by service and philanthropy to the public good and to honoring those who have achieved at the highest level. Since its founding, the National Institute has presented its Gold Honor Medals to distinguished Americans, established a vibrant chapter in Palm Beach, Florida, and made grants to graduate students in the social sciences.

 

Kaplan Foundation Makes Grant to National Institute

Joan K. Davidson (Credit: Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Joan K. Davidson (Credit: Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

The National Institute of Social Sciences is pleased to announce that it has received a generous grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund (www.jmkfund.org), a New York-based philanthropic foundation known for its innovative support of the environment, preservation, the arts, and civil liberties.

The grant, which will be used to provide general operating support for the National Institute, was recommended by Joan K. Davidson, who is a member of the National Institute’s Board of Trustees. From 1977 to 1993, Mrs. Davidson was president of the Kaplan Fund, which was established by her father in 1945. Now the Fund’s president emeritus and a trustee, she is a widely respected advocate and supporter of philanthropic causes in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

“Everyone at the National Institute of Social Sciences is enormously grateful to Joan and to the J.M. Kaplan Fund for this wonderful show of support,” said Chauncey G. Olinger, Jr., the National Institute’s president. “This grant will help the National Institute continue its important work of honoring and celebrating the achievements of extraordinary Americans.”

 

About The National Institute of Social Sciences

Established in 1912, the National Institute of Social Sciences (www.socialsciencesinstitute.org) is an honorary society of Americans dedicated by service and philanthropy to the public good and joined together to recognize and celebrate those who have achieved at the highest level. Since its founding, the National Institute has presented Gold Medals to distinguished honorees, established a vibrant chapter in Palm Beach, Florida, and made grants to graduate students in the social sciences.

 

Bruce Stillman to Discuss "Changing Human Genes" at National Institute of Social Sciences' Issues Discussion Luncheon on Monday, June 5th

Dr. Bruce Stillman, President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dr. Bruce Stillman, President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Bruce Stillman, the president and chief executive officer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will speak at the annual Issues Discussion Luncheon of the National Institute of Social Sciences on Monday, June 5th, in Manhattan.

Dr. Stillman, whose research focuses on how chromosomes are duplicated in cells, will discuss "Changing Human Genes: Choices for Humanity," focusing on CRISPR-Cas9, a new technique that allows geneticists to modify genes in human embryos. CRISPR holds the potential to alter the human genome with enormous consequences for the future of the human race.

A native of Australia, Dr. Stillman earned his a B.S. degree with honors at the University of Sydney and a Ph.D. from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in 1979 and joined the scientific staff in 1981. Dr. Stillman was director of the Laboratory's Cancer Center from 1992 to 2016. In 1994, he succeeded Nobel Laureate Dr. James D. Watson as director of the Laboratory and became president in 2003. 

Dr. Stillman is a member of the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received five honorary doctorates. 

Tickets to the luncheon are $100. Seating is limited. Please contact the National Institute at (212) 831-0560 for information.

About The National Institute of Social Sciences
Established in 1912, the National Institute of Social Sciences (www.socialsciencesinstitute.org) is an honorary society of Americans dedicated by service and philanthropy to the public good and joined together to recognize and celebrate those who have achieved at the highest level. Since its founding, the National Institute has presented Gold Medals to distinguished honorees, established a vibrant chapter in Palm Beach, Florida, and made grants to graduate students in the social sciences

Barbara Tober to be Honored at "8 Over 80" Gala

Barbara Tober at the 2014 Giving Back Foundation Gala in New York.

Barbara Tober at the 2014 Giving Back Foundation Gala in New York.

The National Institute of Social Sciences congratulates trustee Barbara Tober and her husband, Donald, who will be honored for their philanthropy by the New Jewish Home at the fourth annual “Eight Over 80” benefit. The gala, which celebrates “the creativity and significance of the over-80 generation,” will be held on Tuesday, April 4, at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan.

Other honorees include designer Iris Apfel, actress, dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, television producer Norman Lear, chef Jacques Pépin, and businessman/philantropist Morris W. Offit.

For more information, or tickets, visit the Eight over Eighty website: http://8over80.org.

Adele Smithers, Former Trustee, Passes Away

The National Institute of Social Sciences mourns the passing of Adele Smithers, a longtime member and a former trustee. In addition to her association with the National Institute, Mrs. Smithers had expanded on her late husband’s philanthropy in support of recovering alcoholics in New York and had spearheaded a significant lawsuit that empowered benefactors to safeguard the original purposes of their donations.

“Adele Smithers had a long and distinguished association with our organization,” said Chauncey G. Olinger, Jr., president of the National Institute of Social Sciences. “She will be deeply missed by her many friends.”

Read the New York Times obituary of Mrs. Smithers

Read Ray Negron’s tribute to Mrs. Smithers at NY Sportsday

Read Mrs. Smithers's official biography at the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation

Pace University: National Institute of Social Sciences Awards Richard L. Ottinger with Gold Honor Medal for 2016

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AWARDS RICHARD L. OTTINGER, RETIRED U.S. REPRESENTATIVE AND DEAN EMERITUS AT THE ELISABETH HAUB SCHOOL OF LAW AT PACE UNIVERSITY, WITH THE INSTITUTE'S GOLD HONOR MEDAL FOR 2016.

http://www.pace.edu/news-release/national-institute-social-sciences-awards-richard-l-ottinger-retired-us-representative