27th Year of Renaissance Weekends Begins as 1,400 Notables Gather in Charleston

Dec 27, 2007, 00:00 ET from The Renaissance Institute

    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
     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