Read about the forum participants:
Jack El-Hai is the author of The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness, which won the General Readership Book Award of the Medical Journalists' Association and a Minnesota Book Award. He has contributed to The Atlantic Monthly, American Heritage, The Washington Post Magazine, The History Channel Magazine, and many other publications. A frequent presenter of lectures and workshops, El-Hai has taught at the University of Minnesota and The Loft Literary Center. He is a past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Angelene Forester was four years old when Walter Freeman performed his first transorbital lobotomy on her mother, Sallie Ellen Ionesco, who died in May 2007 at the age of 90. Forester remembers the day of the surgery and life with her mother after it.
Franklin Freeman, one of Walter Freeman's sons, served in World War II, graduated from Stanford University afterward, and received an M.Ed. from Temple University in 1971. He worked for 20 years in the lumber industry and then 28 years as a security officer before retiring in 2004. Freeman researched the work of his great-grandfather, Dr. William W. Keen, who was one of the first to experiment in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
Walter J. Freeman II
Walter J. Freeman, one of Walter Freeman's sons, is a fourth generation doctor in his family. He has taught brain science at the University of California at Berkeley since 1959. He received his M.D. cum laude in 1954, the Bennett Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry in 1964, a Guggenheim in 1965, the MERIT Award from NIMH in 1990, and the Pioneer Award from the Neural Networks Concil of the IEEE in 1992, and is Life Fellow of the IEEE. He has authored over 400 articles and four books: Mass Action in the Nervous System, Societies of Brains, Neurodynamics, and How Brains Make Up Their Minds.
In fifteen years of producing documentaries, Barak Goodman has received every major industry award: the Peabody, duPont-Columbia, National Emmy, and an Academy Award nomination. Two of his films for PBS's American Experience were selected for the documentary competition by the Sundance Film Festival: Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (Sundance 2000), and The Fight (Sundance 2004).
John Maggio is an award winning producer/director whose films have screened around the world. His previous work for American Experience includes Kinsey (2005) and The Fight, (2004) which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2000. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.
Dr. Pandya is the director of ambulatory and community psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Pandya also serves on the executive board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. NAMI is the nation's leading grassroots advocacy organization dedicated solely to improving the quality of life for people with severe mental illnesses and their families. Dr. Pandya is the co-founder of Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, a charity that provides psychiatric care in the wake of disasters.
Andrew Scull has written extensively on the history of psychiatry from the 18th century to the present. His book Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicineappeared in paperback in September 2006 from Yale University Press. It examines the enthusiasm of American psychiatry for a wide range of damaging physical therapies, including lobotomy, in the first half of the 20th century. Andrew Scull has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, and is past president of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.
Elliot S. Valenstein
Elliot S. Valenstein is professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan and former chairman of the biopsychology program. He is the author of more than 160 scientific articles (one of which has become a "Citation Classic") and seven books, several of which have been translated into different languages. These books include Brain Control, the award winning Great and Desperate Cures, Blaming the Brain and the highly praised The War of the Soups and the Sparks: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters and the Dispute over How Nerves Communicate.
Journalist Robert Whitaker is the author of Mad in America, which explores our country's treatment of the seriously mentally ill since colonial times. Mad in America received awards from Discover magazine and the American Library Association. His journalism awards include the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association of Science Writers' Award. In 1998, he co-wrote a series on psychiatric research for the Boston Globe that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
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