Dr. Bennie Bub has worn almost as many hats at the Academy as he did during his multi-faceted, globe-spanning career. From 2011 until mid-2013, he served as the Academy board president, in addition to serving for several years on the curriculum committee. He has also volunteered as a course organizer (for this past spring’s Breakthroughs in Science classes and, previously, Brain Games) and course leader and has regularly showcased his classes at the Academy’s annual sampler, the One-Day University.
Topping his Academy contributions is the key role he has played in launching and constantly reinvigorating the Academy’s science curriculum. Bennie created and led the fascinating 3-part Human Behavior and Neurobiology series, which was repeated by popular demand. This fall, in his new course Guard Your Genes: Harmful Behavior Affects Future Generations, Bennie will probe yet another cutting-edge topic, epigenetics. This emerging discipline examines the development and maintenance–as well as heredity–of an organism, focusing on how a set of chemical reactions switches parts of your genome off and on at strategic times and locations.
A South African neurosurgeon board-certified in three different specialties on three continents, Bennie began his career when, as a medical student, he taught physics at a technical college in return for free car maintenance courses. Completing his many degrees, residencies and certifications, followed by medical practice and teaching, took him from Cape Town to the UK and, in 1976, the US.
However, his interests have always ranged far beyond medicine. For example, while serving as a Harvard teaching and research fellow, as well as a resident at leading Boston hospitals, he studied violin performance at the Boston Conservatory of Music.
In the early nineties, Bennie founded and led a successful database company, which provided credentialing of physicians for health insurance companies. Since retirement he has indulged in his love of music, travel and reading, all the while striving to stay au courant with the neurosciences.
Fortunately for the Academy, Bennie continues to actively recruit Academy course leaders who mirror his exemplary approach of offering intensely-researched and dynamically-presented classes adroitly tailored to lifelong learners.