Harvard neurobiologist to discuss diversity in Bates lecture
Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations and professor of neurobiology at Harvard University, will present a talk titled “Achieving Diversity and Intercultural/Racial Understanding in an Academic Setting” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, Campus Avenue, Bates College. The public is invited to attend the lecture free of charge.
Counter has served Harvard University as a neuroscience professor and administrator for more than 20 years. He regularly lectures at universities and other institutions on his work in scientific exploration in subjects ranging from his recent findings on the high lead and mercury exposure levels among Andean children to his discovery of Ameri-Eskimo children of Arctic explorers Matthew A. Henson and Robert E. Peary in northwest Greenland. His expedition to find the part-Eskimo son of Henson, an African American, led to the burial of Henson’s remains in Arlington National Cemetery.
Counter has published widely in both cultural and scientific journals, including National Geographic and Scientific American. He has appeared on numerous television broadcasts, ranging from children’s science programs to talk shows, and is especially interested in increasing the scientific literacy of young people. In addition to his scientific interests, he continues to work in the area of ethics in science and technology, nature conservation and human rights at the international level.
As an explorer and ethnographer, Counter has discovered little-known tribes of African slave descendent, in the South American rain forest and the Andes. His expeditions have led to various books and documentaries, several of which were produced by public television.
Following academic training at Case Western Reserve University and postdoctoral studies in neurobiology at Harvard, Counter joined the faculty to teach undergraduate biology. After creating a new neurobiology major at Harvard, he eventually joined the faculty at the university’s medical school. Counter earned a doctor of medical science degree from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.