More About the Author
Doron Weber is an American author best known for his critically acclaimed memoir, IMMORTAL BIRD (Simon & Schuster, hardcover 2012, paperback 2013. Born on a kibbutz in Israel in 1955, Weber is a graduate of Brown University (B.A., 1977) and studied at the Sorbonne and Oxford University (M.A., 1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar In addition to his writing and his career in the nonprofit world--he has held positions at the Readers Catalog, Society for the Right to Die, The Rockefeller University, and since 1995, at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation where he has created seminal programs in science and the arts--Weber has worked as a newspaper boy, busboy, waiter, and taxi driver, has competed as a boxer and triathlete, and, in the summer of 2012, biked 3400 miles in the Big Ride Across America.
IMMORTAL BIRD: A FAMILY MEMOIR, hailed as a "powerful and lyric" portrait of childhood and "an unforgettable evocation of the intense love between a father and a son," documents the family's navigation of the complex medical journey of Doron and Shealagh Weber's, first child. Damon was born in 1988 with a congenital heart defect (a single ventricle) that was successfully repaired, allowing him to lead a remarkably full life until he developed new complications as a teen.
At age 16-1/2, Damon received a successful heart transplant but then died of a post-transplant infection that was misdiagnosed as organ rejection and went untreated. The family brought suit in 2006 against New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center where their son was a patient but, as of 2013, the suit remains unresolved.
In addition to being named by The Washington Post as one of "50 Notable Works of Non-Fiction" for 2012, IMMORTAL BIRD was listed as Amazon's Best Book of the Month; on Indie Bookseller "Next" List; on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List;" and was one of nine official selections of the 2013 Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, the oldest book club in America. The book has also had impact in the medical community where, for example, Congenital Cardiology Today published "A Cautionary Tale for Pediatric Cardiologists" in February, 2013, enumerating the many issues raised by Damon's case.
Since 1995, Weber has worked as a program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that supports research and education in science, technology, and economic performance. As Vice President, Programs, Weber runs the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Program where he pioneered the synergistic use of media and the arts to translate science for the public and launched national programs in theater, film and television that commission, develop, produce and distribute new work bridging the two cultures of science and the humanities. Grantees include Manhattan Theatre Club, Sundance Film Institute, Galatee Films, PBS, National Public Radio, BAM, World Science Festival. Weber also directs the Foundation's efforts to promote Universal Access to Knowledge by using emerging developments in digital information technology to make the benefits of human knowledge and human culture accessible to people everywhere. Grantees include Library of Congress, Internet Archive, Wikimedia Foundation, and Digital Public Library of America. In 2012, Weber made a grant for a pilot meeting on rice science at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy/National University of Singapore that brought together scientists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and China in an exploratory effort at International Science Engagement.
In 2004, the Foundation received the National Science Board's Public Service Award, citing Weber's program "for its innovative use of traditional media--books, radio, public television--and its pioneering efforts in theater and commercial television and films to advance public understanding of science and technology." On behalf of the Foundation, he's also received the PBS Leadership Award for over a decade of support (2007); the Nielsen Impact Award for film from the Hollywood Reporter (2009); the Council of Foundations citation for "the visionary funding decisions of foundations in using media for their program goals" for a new web series, The Secret Lives of Scientists (2010); and, the Gold Communicator Award for a documentary about the Foundation's history, "Sloan at 75" (2011). His work at Sloan has been profiled in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Fortune, Filmmaker Magazine and The American Way.
Weber serves as President of The Writers Room Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee, Advisory Board Member of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, and Board Visitor of the Wikimedia Foundation. From 1995-2005, he has served as secretary of the New York State Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, U.S.A. Triathlon, and the Century Club.
In addition to Immortal Bird, he is author of Final Passages (with Judith C. Ahronheim); The Complete Guide to Living Wills (with Evan R. Collins, Jr.); Safe Blood (with Joseph Feldschuh); and op-eds in The New York Times ("The Best and the Guiltiest,"1993); LA Times ("Boomers Rewrite Candidate Profiles," 1996); Boston Review ("Sabbath's Theater," 1995); USA Today ("A Way Around Kevorkian," 1994); and Baltimore Sun ("BYOB,"1990).