Sep 14, 2009    #107
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC Hosts 43rd Annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series

Simon Winchester Gives Keynote Speech Sept. 22.

Instructor Carolyn Benton Cockefair believed that everyone – not just traditional college-age students – should continue learning. In honor of this sentiment, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is hosting its 43rd annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series.

To begin this year’s series, best-selling author Simon Winchester will discuss his works, including “The Man Who Loved China” – a biography of Cambridge scientist Joseph Needham. Winchester’s presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the University Center’s Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are requested. Call (816) 235-6060 to reserve a seat. A book sale and signing will follow the event.

Needham’s research on the history of Chinese science led to the famous “Needham Question,” which questions the rise and fall of Chinese science. Through his research, Needham sought to uncover why the West overtook China in science and technology, and why the country’s technological advancements failed to develop modern science.

“In ‘The Man Who Loved China,’ Simon Winchester… builds on his success in writing about eccentric British intellectuals,” according to a Washington Post review. “Needham makes a great subject.”

Other works by Winchester include “The Professor and the Madman,” “The Map that Changed the World” and “Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire.” Arrangements for the appearance of Simon Winchester were made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau in New York.

The Series, formed in 1966 by Cockefair’s former students, has brought such intellectuals as Tess Gallagher, James Michener, Jeane Kirkpatrick, John Updike and Tom Wolfe to Kansas City. Its purpose is to continue what Cockefair started when she first came to the then University of Kansas City in 1947.

Throughout her 17 years at the University, Cockefair drew a following from students and non-credited students who were attracted to her Socratic style of teaching and her ability to link history to current events.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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