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Oakmont Sunday Symposium

Oakmont Berger Center

Sunday April 7th 2019 - 10:30am to

The Oakmont Sunday Symposium meets on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Berger Center. A $3 donation is requested. For more information, go to

April 7: “How do Chemicals in Food Cause Cancer?” by Jim Felton

How can we change our cooking practices to avoid many of the worst cancer-causing compounds? There will be a discussion on the basics of cancer causation, examining cooking methods, genetic susceptibility, metabolism, DNA binding and mutations to understand why one chemical might be more potent than another and some individuals more susceptible.

Dr. Jim Felton is a retired Senior Biomedical Scientist from the Livermore National Laboratory where he held various positions and was Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the U.C. Davis Cancer Center. With a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, he has taught courses related to cancer and also manages an award-winning winery and vineyard in Danville.

April 14: “Nerd Novels: Fiction that explores ideas, celebrates facts, and tells a damn good story,” by Jean Hegland

What do art history, organic geochemistry, literary theory, astronomy, philosophy and genetics all have in common? They are a few of the many scholarly disciplines that have recently appeared in fiction. Presenter Jean Hegland and her colleague Susan M. Gaines have coined the term “nerd novels” to describe novels that incorporate a specific field of study or body of knowledge into their plots, conflicts, characters, and themes. Hegland will describe this fascinating new trend in fiction and discuss some of the particular pleasures that nerd novels can offer to both experts and novices in the fields they explore.

Hegland’s first novel, Into the Forest, has been adapted as a film and graphic novel translated in 16 languages. It has been selected for a number of campus and community-wide reading programs and was a best seller in France in 2017, where it was awarded the Prix de L ‘union Interalliee for best foreign novel of the year. Her most recent novel, Still Time, about a Shakespeare professor and his estranged daughter, is finding fans among Shakespeare scholars and also readers with Shakespeare allergies.

All Oakmont residents and their guests are welcome.

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