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La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans: Juan Enriquez

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La Plaza
Conversations with Ilan Stavans: Juan Enriquez
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered January 10, 1979- Officially La Plaza as a separate series title ended after season 28 (2006). It was replaced by the interview series: Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One which premiered in 2007.

Producer Raquel Ortiz anticipates that the bilingual series will serve as a plaza for the entire local Latino community. Ortiz also served as the host during the first season along with guest hosts. The program format varied from week to week, between musical specials, documentaries, in-studio debates, both locally produced and acquired. Spanish language programs were subtitled in English and English language programs were captioned in Spanish.

See January 1979 Prime Time Program Guide for cover story. Series release date: 1/10/1979

Program Description

Juan Enríquez, from Mexico, is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences. He is working to develop the promise of the geonomic revolution. For Enríquez, the most important language today isn't English or Spanish — it's genetic code.

Enríquez is a senior research fellow and director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, which is starting to map the ways in which life science technologies (genomics, biotechnology, nanotechology) are changing the global economy.

"Today the most important language you can teach your kids is genetics. Those who refuse to learn will be functionally illiterate and unable to understand — much less compete in — a rapidly changing economy," Enríquez explains in an online interview about his book As the Future Catches You, subtitled How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health, and Wealth (Crown Business, NY; 2001). "Topics like genetic engineering and cloning are constantly in the news, and I want to help people understand them and wrestle with them."

"We are acquiring direct and deliberate control over the evolution of most life forms. This is a power that will allow us to feed more people, cure more people, and live far better lives."

Enríquez cautions that although the US is still the dominant biotech power, "there is little historical precedent that says it must remain so. Regions that do not nurture emerging technologies and attract ever more smart people soon become history."

Enríquez discusses these and other issues in his La Plaza conversation with critic Ilan Stavans.



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Broadcast program

Media Type


Ortiz, Raquel (Series Producer)
Chicago: “La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans: Juan Enriquez,” GBH Archives, accessed February 25, 2024,
MLA: “La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans: Juan Enriquez.” GBH Archives. Web. February 25, 2024. <>.
APA: La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans: Juan Enriquez. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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