60 years ago, Albert Schweitzer made his only visit to the U.S.—during which he was featured on the cover of Time magazine, and received an Honorary Degree from the University of Chicago in a Rockefeller Chapel ceremony that was attended by over 5,000 people. (Read the New York Times’ article on the ceremony at left; view the Time cover below.)
On the 60th anniversary of that historic event, the University of Chicago, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists are launching a two-day celebration at the University’s Rockefeller Chapel: on June 6, a gala concert featuring the world organ premiere of “Albert Schweitzer Portrait,” and on June 7, a panel entitled “Albert Schweitzer’s Legacy: From Individual Service to A World Free of Nuclear Arms.” Both events are free and open to the public; click here for full details.
Schweitzer’s passionate anti-nuclear advocacy was a natural outgrowth of his own direct service as a physician in Africa, anchored in his guiding ethic of reverence for all life. At the June 7 panel discussion, leaders of the Nobel-laureate scientists’ and physicians’ movements for nuclear abolition and the elimination of health disparities will discuss how Schweitzer-spirited service continues to dramatically shape both realms.
Panelists will include Kennette Benedict, Executive Director and Publisher of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PHD, Chair of the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health; Lachlan Forrow, MD, President of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship; Edward W. (Rocky) Kolb, Chair of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago and founding Director of the Particle Astrophysics Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, llinois; Michael McCally, MD, Recent past Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and Treasurer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) when it won the Nobel Peace Price in 1985; and Olufunmilayo (Fumni) Olopade, MD Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine and Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago.
Events like these make me wish ASF’s central office was in Chicago instead of Boston: especially in light of North Korea’s underground nuclear test on Monday, the insights and experiences of these leaders and advocates are more urgent and relevant than ever. But luckily, I’ll get to listen to Dr. Forrow and Kennette Benedict’s interview about the events, and Schweitzer’s legacy, on Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview next week — stay tuned for the exact date and time.