4 p.m. Sunday, July 11th
Kent Community House

*Proof of COVID vaccination is required for entry.

Join us for the second Edmund and Sylvia Morris Lecture as we hear from Dr. Harold Varmus about vital topics in medicine today, including COVID-19, CRISPR, cancer, and more. A wine reception with Dr. Varmus will be held immediately following the program. Guests will be asked to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival.



Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, joined the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine as the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine in April, 2015. He is also a Senior Associate Member of the New York Genome Center, where he helps to develop programs in cancer genomics, and an adjunct professor at the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. Previously, Dr. Varmus was the Director of the National Cancer Institute for five years, the President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for ten years, and Director of the National Institutes of Health for six years. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University in English literature and of Columbia University in medicine, he was further trained at Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), before becoming a member of the UCSF basic science faculty for over two decades. He is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries, and serves on advisory groups for several academic, governmental, philanthropic, and commercial institutions. These positions currently include co-chair of the Mayor’s LifeSciNYC initiative and member of advisory boards for Chan-Zuckerberg Science, the Broad and the Crick Institutes, the global health program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, three biotechnology companies (Surrozen, Dragonfly, and Volastra), and, most recently, the chair of the World Health Organization’s new Science Council. The author of about 400 scientific papers and five books, including a 2009 memoir entitled The Art and Politics of Science, Varmus was a co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health.


We are proud to present the Edmund and Sylvia Morris Lecture Series here at Kent Memorial Library. Edmund and Sylvia Morris were renowned biographers and accomplished writers. Edmund won a Pulitzer Prize for his first biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and followed it with books on Reagan, Beethoven, and Edison. Sylvia was also an acclaimed biographer, penning works on Edith Roosevelt and Claire Booth Luce. She was a sought after lecturer, too, and gave talks at The Library of Congress, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the University of Delaware, among others. Both were deep thinking scholars and Library lovers, and when they passed our friends Donna and Ben Rosen reached out with an opportunity – to design and present a speaker series honoring the legacy of these two esteemed members of the literary community, and our community in Kent. Our goal with the Morris Lecture Series is to tackle big issues and start important conversations, and we hope you will be inspired by these events to think about the challenges we all face, as a Town and as a nation.

*Guests will be asked to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival.
Coming September 9 – Bill McKibben American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming.