Biographical Notes on the 1973 Delegates


Rereading China: Science Walks on Two Legs in 2021

Biographical Notes on the 1973 Delegates

Minna Sara Barrett (formerly Minna Goldfarb) received her PhD in 1978 in developmental and social psychology. A founding member of the Psychology Department at the SUNY College at Old Westbury (1975), she has taught across the undergraduate psychology curriculum and in graduate professional programs at masters and doctoral levels. She has a long history of professional engagement in local, state, and national service. She has served on county, state, and federal cancer and environmental advisory boards; provided testimony to national, state, and local agencies; and presented and published on children’s language development, the IQ controversy, critique of mainstream psychology, cultural interdependence, science education during the Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China, family networks in Kenya, public higher education as social equity, university shared governance, environmental risk factors and breast cancer, disaster mental health, and the value and structure of applied learning. She has helped write and pass written state and federal law for medical treatment and environmental protection. Minna also served as a member of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine World Trade Center Advisory Committee charged with refining monitoring and treatment services offered to 911 responders following the attacks on the World Trade Center (2001). She continues to provide mental health services to 911 workers via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s James Zadroga World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (department of Medicine, University Hospital, Stony Brook). For the compendium of work across her career, Minna was awarded the rank of State University Distinguished Service Professor (2009).

Virginia (Ginger) Goldner received a PhD in clinical psychology from Union Graduate School in 1977 and a postdoctoral certificate in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in 1990 from New York University. She has been a psychoanalyst and couples therapist since 1978, treating individuals, couples, and families in private practice. She is also a clinical professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and faculty at the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. She supervises in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at CUNY and is emeritus faculty at the Ackerman Institute of the Family. Her work bridges psychoanalytic theory, feminist and queer theory, and systems theory. She is founding editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality and an associate editor of the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is also the on-camera consultant to psychoanalyst Orna Guralnik on the award-winning Showtime docuseries Couples Therapy, the founding editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and an associate editor of the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She has authored more than fifty articles and book chapters and is completing a book that collects her major papers.

Franklin E. Mirer is professor of environmental and occupational health at the City University of New York School of Public Health. At the time of the China trip, Frank was a postdoc in toxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health. From 1975, he was Director of the UAW Health and Safety Department, retiring in 2006. This unit was responsible for policy advice, collective bargaining, plant inspections, developing and delivering training programs, and representing the union before OSHA and Congress. Frank then served as professor of environmental and occupational health at CUNY from 2006 until 2018. He taught in a master’s degree industrial hygiene program for working adults. Frank participated in each round of automobile industry collective bargaining from 1976 until his retirement. He developed and delivered testimony before OSHA regarding a dozen OSHA health and safety standards, and testified before House and Senate Committees on occupational safety and health and regulatory policy matters. He also represented the UAW on many government and professional advisory committees. Frank has also been a member of the scientific committee supporting the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign, and has made several visits to sites of agent orange contamination.

Elisabet Sahtouris is the former Geri Steiner, upping her middle name to first and acquiring Sahtouris by marrying in Greece. After the China trip she worked for the NOVA-Horizon TV show in Boston, then took off for the Greek Islands, where she stayed much longer than intended. By the time she returned thirteen years later, her first book on evolutionary biology and the human trajectory, Gaia, had been published by Simon & Schuster. Dr. Sahtouris then began a career of talks, consultations, conferences, and workshops on all five continents. The Greek years had led her to reconsider and rewrite evolutionary biology for the sake of a well-informed futurist strategy, a theme continuing in her later books, EarthDance, Biology Revisioned, A Walk Through Time, and Gaia’s Dance. She is a co-founder of the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network, spent a year in the Peruvian Andes studying their agricultural and other sciences, and now teaches MBA courses designed with Native Hawaiian Elders at Chaminade University in Honolulu. Dr. Sahtouris holds an honorary Chair in Living Economies at the World Business Academy and is an advisor to Ethical Markets and Visioneers International Network. She has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. See: https://sahtouris.com.

Vinton Thompson received his PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago at the end of 1974. He worked briefly for the Illinois Department of Labor and then for two years for the US Department of Labor as an OSHA inspector, with a short interlude in between working in the wheel hub assembly area at the Schwinn Bicycle factory in Chicago. Following his OSHA work he managed an African American-oriented bookstore on the South Side of Chicago and then returned to academia in 1979–1980, first as an adjunct at Loyola University, then as an assistant professor of biology at Roosevelt University. He worked at Roosevelt from 1980 through 2004, with a two-year stint in institutional research at the City Colleges of Chicago in 1988–1990. At Roosevelt he was a teacher and administrator, eventually serving as department chair, division director, associate provost, and provost/VP for Academic Affairs. In 2004 he became provost/VPAA at Kean University in New Jersey and in 2008 was appointed president of Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), where he served for 10 years, built new campuses in downtown Manhattan and the South Bronx, and retired in 2018. He is professor of biology emeritus at Roosevelt and president emeritus at MCNY. Presently, he is a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, where he pursues long-standing scientific interests in the ecology and evolution of spittlebugs. He also serves as a mentor in the MSI Aspiring Leaders Program of the Rutgers University Center for the Study of Minority Institutions. In 2021 he and his wife Ruth Moscovitch will celebrate 50 years together. They have two sons and two grandsons.

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