Campus News

A Rare Campus Appearance by Futurist, Scientist, and Transhumanist Martine Rothblatt

October 29, 2015

Marvin Krislov

President Marvin Krislov
Photo credit: John Seyfried

We have been privileged to have many outstanding Convocation speakers come to Oberlin. But this semester’s roster—with Bryan Stevenson, Zadie Smith, and Sonia Shah ’90—has been off the chart!

Shah, acclaimed investigative journalist and prize-winning author of books on science, human rights, and international politics, gave a brilliant talk this past Tuesday about pandemics, the topic of her forthcoming book, Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, which will be available this coming February. As if that weren’t enough for one semester, we have an absolutely incredible Convocation speaker scheduled for November 5.

Martine Rothblatt is a fascinating person. I cannot do justice to all of her ideas, accomplishments, vision, and thinking in the space of this column, so forgive me for condensing. Rothblatt is simply one of the most innovative and intellectually bold individuals on the planet. The highest-paid female CEO in the United States, she is the founder of Sirius Radio and United Therapeutics, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company based in Silver Spring, Maryland that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases. And, if you’ve seen the posters around campus, you know that she is also working to preserve her wife’s consciousness in the artificial intelligence of a robot. 

Rothblatt rarely speaks at colleges, so we are thrilled she is coming to Oberlin. Please mark your calendars for her talk: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, November 5, in Finney Chapel. The format will be yours truly interviewing Rothblatt. If you have questions you’d like asked, please email them to my assistant, Jennifer Bradfield, at

Fall Break Meals

Over Fall Break, the Student Senate and the Office of Community and Government Relations organized a meal program for students looking for a place to eat while campus dining services were shut down. The meals were hosted at local churches by congregations and community organizations.

Many thanks to the participating churches and groups. They included: Grace Lutheran Church, Park Street Seventh Day Adventist Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Christ Episcopal Church, First Church, First United Methodist Church, and the Oberlin Police Department & Police Explorers. Dean of Students Eric Estes also hosted a dinner.

Special thanks to organizers Pastor David Hill, Michele Andrews, and Leo Braido, and also to Tita Reed, special assistant to the president for community and government relations, and Eric Estes.


Just a quick reminder that this coming Tuesday is election day. Voting is the right and duty of every American citizen—a duty to oneself, to one’s community, and to our society and country. People around the world have fought and died just to have the right to vote. Please don’t take your right to vote for granted. There are a host of local and state issues on the ballot. This is your opportunity to have a voice in determining policies that will affect lives in Oberlin and throughout Ohio, so please go vote.

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