CHARLESTON, S.C., Dec. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Renaissance Weekend, the non- partisan family retreat for innovative leaders from diverse fields, will begin its 27th year on Friday, December 28, 2007 by welcoming 1,400 innovative leaders from across America as they arrive to Charleston, SC for their traditional New Year's marathon of lectures, seminars, and discussions. Among the Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize-winners, college presidents, religious leaders and others returning are Nobel laureates Peter Agre and Bill Phillips, eight current and former Members of Congress, astronauts Charles Bolden, Larry Young, Mark Kelly and Edgar Mitchell, American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, JFK aide Ted Sorensen, conservative guru Richard Viguerie, former United Nations Under Secretary Shashi Tharoor, former Ogilvy & Mather CEO Charlotte Beers, Harvard education authority Howard Gardner, Columbia neuroscientist Mickey Goldberg, cancer drug pioneer Safi Bahcall, Tiananmen Square student leader Li Lu, MacArthur "Genius" Award-winning planetary scientist Michael Manga, former U.S. Ambassador to China and U.S. Senator Jim Sasser, Heritage Foundation scholar Stuart Butler, Cedars-Sinai neurosurgeon John Yu, psychologist Jonathan Haidt, Attorneys General Drew Edmonson (Oklahoma) and Gary King (New Mexico), "Shrek III" screenwriter Jeffrey Price, Norton Utilities developer Peter Norton, financial writer Andrew Tobias, authors Gail Sheehy and Haynes Johnson, NPR anchor Scott Simon, MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle and "You're Wearing That" author Deborah Tannen. Renaissance Weekends were founded in 1981 by Linda LeSourd Lader and her husband, Philip Lader, the former US Ambassador to the Court of St. James and now Chairman of the global media/advertising company, WPP Group. "The Weekends," Ambassador Lader explains, "seek to build bridges across generations, ideologies, religions, and politics. They are a continuing conversation of accomplished individuals characterized by 'more light than heat.'" New Year's is the largest of the Renaissance Weekends, but others are scheduled in 2008 for Santa Barbara, Deer Valley, Aspen, and Kiawah Island. They have the spirit, Mrs. Lader observes, of "an extended family reunion of remarkable people with widely divergent backgrounds and views." Over the New Year's Renaissance Weekend, 582 lectures, seminars, workshops, panels and entertainment programs, led by all the participants themselves, will address public policy and personal issues. In half-day Academies, authorities will focus on scientific, religious, foreign affairs, and economics subjects. The gathering is "decidedly apolitical and non-partisan," Ambassador Lader notes. "CEOs, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, artists and scientists, astronauts and ministers, judges, diplomats and professors far out-number the participants engaged in politics." Programs, for example, will discuss: Where Should Your Money Be Now?; Is Anybody Really "Normal?;" The Weird, Wild World of Astrophysics; Marco Polo's Travels; The Political Brain; Did Jesus Die for Our Second Homes?; Explosions of Scientific Knowledge; Why Not Change the World?; How Should America Use Smart Power in Foreign Affairs; Ain't Seen Nothing Yet on the Web; The Physiology of Cognitive Processes; What Would Machiavelli Advise Today's Presidential Candidates?; Secrets of 24; The Pursuit of Happiness; Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine; and, Elvis, the Beatles & the History of Rock & Roll. This year's traditionally diverse group will include more than 20 former Rhodes and Marshall Scholars, a dozen Emmy, MacArthur and Pulitzer Prizewinners, four astronauts, eight current and former Members of Congress, and several dozen evangelical Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim and other religious leaders.
SOURCE The Renaissance Institute