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Twyla Tharp

Dancer and Choreographer

Twyla Tharp: There are ideas, and then there are ideas. The piece was not without a certain amount of calculation. That's the first piece I did for the Joffrey. I went for a season to watch the Joffrey Company and the Joffrey audience, before I made the piece. It was very distinctly tailored for both the audience and for the company. On the other hand, it is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience. And all you can do is make your sincerest stab at saying, "Hey, I think you could understand what I'm trying to say if I say it this way. I think I know you well enough that this is how I need to say it for you." I don't consider that selling out. I consider that going halfway to meet a person, and I consider that to be what communications is all about. Deuce Coupe was very successful in that regard. As far as watching, I was in it. So I was too busy hopping around backstage to have any sense about what it was doing to the audience out front. I was having too much fun.
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Twyla Tharp

Dancer and Choreographer

I think that the challenge is always in taking with you what you understand, but pushing it to another point. I don't believe in rushing, and dropping it off and saying this is done and over with. That to me, that form of rebellion doesn't make sense to me. I've always attempted to familiarize myself with the traditions, and consider that a responsibility of the artist. I think it's a bit facile to go in as the avant-garde traditionally is expected to do and just chop off the past and say, "Okay, now we start." It seems a little wasteful to me. Let's take what we've got and let's push it somewhere and let's use it because why waste all those good lessons about how the body moves. We don't have 300 years. The classic ballet has been working that long, learning lessons of the body. Let's hurry up and get that together, so we can go on with it.
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Wayne Thiebaud

Painter and Teacher

Wayne Thiebaud: I think it's the quest and the challenge that keeps you going. When you get to a point of where you can do something, somehow, that you feel you can do, and you anticipate the end result, it's no longer very interesting. You've got to, I think, risk making a terrible painting, or a terrible idea, and see what you can do with it. And it's often disastrous. I mean, if you can get one painting out of 12 or 15, that's a very high batting average, and you better look to yourself to be a little bit more editing. And you see, one of the problems with painters is we don't have editors like you do. We know and you know how important editors are, and have been. So we then have to, I think, really move to critical confrontation, in order to somehow, hopefully ensure that you're not degrading your work, being repetitive, becoming a kind of art world employee where you're expected to make these light manufacturing products. I think that's a kind of death.
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James Thomson

Father of Stem Cell Research

James Thomson: So we derived primate embryonic stem cells in 1995, and that showed that this could be done in a species other than the mouse. And given the evolutionary relatedness of humans and primates, we thought we could apply this to humans. So in 1995 I talked to some ethicists on our campus about how we would do this. And we were very fortunate to have two very good people on campus, one who's named Norm Fost, who is the head of our IRB (Institutional Review Board), which is the Human Subjects Committee you have to go through. And the other one is Alta Charo, who's a lawyer that had sat on some national panels dealing with ethical issues and human ES cell -- human embryo research, not human ES cell research -- and discussed how we would do this in an ethical way, and I did a lot of thought about whether I wanted to do it. And then finally we did the consent forms and we did it.
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James Thomson

Father of Stem Cell Research

I had to do a lot of soul searching about whether this was something I wanted to do. It's actually a fairly complex issue, but what it comes down to for me is fairly simple, is that the way in vitro fertilization is currently practiced, embryos are made that the couples ultimately don't want. And sometimes because they've had the family that they want, or whatever reason, and they have to come to a personal decision of what to do with those embryos. In our case, they had the option to donate to some other couples if they wanted to attempt to have babies. They could simply discard them, or they could donate them to research if they want, through this consent process. So for the embryos we use, they would simply have been thrown out had not they been used for this research. And for me it would be a better thing to do that than to simply throw them out, since there is a great deal of value to doing this research.
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