Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Flying Saucers and Fire Flies

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Flying Saucers and Fire Flies

Article excerpt

On the most exhausting day of my life, the first things I notice are two plastic sleds waiting beside the front door. I've been newly introduced to sledding in Canada and recognize these particular vehicles as "flying saucers." I take this as a good sign. I'm led to the from room to wait, and I see a hand-embroidered cushion "Twentieth Anniversary. The Hastings Center, 1969-1989," and then two sets of cross-country ski tracks cutting through the snow-covered lawn outside. The river I had nervously scanned from the early morning train makes a close S bend in the near distance, and Family photos on the walls show young bioethicists in dark rimmed glasses and bell-bottom jeans shrug together in the sunshine. I'm trying to place these faces, when I'm fetched for my first interview--one of nine that day.

What does a think-tank look like? "It's more like a commune," I later tell friends, "in all the ways in which that could be a good thing." In the kitchen, people jostle each other while preparing their lunches, laughing, smiling, intimate. Posters and paintings and prints cover the walls, and throughout the house is an assortment of retro furniture that I immediately begin to covet. A baby's playpen sits in a ground-floor office. The walls are not shiny white, there are no lab coats, I can't remember seeing a single briefcase. Administrative staff grab quick asides with me as I gulp glasses of water, breathless between interviews. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.