Friday Fun with Religion, Science and the Press

Friday, March 7, 2008


12:00 pm, directly after a Psychiatry & Spirituality Forum lecture to psychiatric residents at UC Irvine


Senior Staff Doctor: “Hello”

Christine: “Hi, I’m Christine. I’m a journalist. I’m doing a story on the Forum for xyz news outlet.

Senior Staff Doctor: “Every time I talk to a reporter, I come out sounding like an idiot. …”

Christine: “Sometimes it’s not the reporter’s fault. It’s those word counts. You have to talk in sound bites.”

Dr. Kheriaty agrees, kibitzing follows.

Senior Staff Doctor to Dr. Kheriaty: “That reporter from wxt news outlet called. She wanted to know if you are some kind of religious zealot. I told her you aren’t, but you know, you ought to have my Native American friend speak. He really helped us get through a contentious work situation.”

Dr. Kheriaty: “We try to be imperically-based and inclusive …”


5:45 pm, CHOC Boardroom, before NIH Embryonic Stem Cell Training Course students arrive for lecture and dinner


Renowned Stem Cell Researcher: “Hello”

Christine: “Hello”

Renowned Stem Cell Researcher: “Are you a student?”

Christine: “No, I’m a journalist.”
Renowned Stem Cell Researcher: “A journalist? From what publication?”

Christine: “I’m pitching a story to xyz news outlet. It’s non-sectarian.”

Renowned Stem Cell Researcher: “It’s not Catholic is it?”
Christine: “No, but I’ve written from that perspective before. I’m not doing that this time. People should be able to disagree and still be respectful though, don’t you think?”

Renowned Stem Cell Researcher: “I don’t know. I’m glad I asked.”

Christine: “Why, will you say something different in your lecture because I’m here?”

Renowned Stem Cell Researcher (direct quote): “No, but the Catholics. I’ll be honest. I despise them.”

Christine: stunned silence

Renowned Stem Cell Researcher (paraphrasing): “The bishop of tzv came down to mwl saying he’s against IVF, ruining a lot of people’s happiness.”

Christine (to herself): “Nice to meet you too.”

[photo ©cas 2008, CHOC North Boardroom, Orange, CA ]

2 Comments on “Friday Fun with Religion, Science and the Press

  1. Yes, L.L., I was … and his comment has been the exception to the rule of respectful dialogue this time around. A very nice development indeed.