Investigative science journalist Sonia Shah to speak Jan. 24

· 4 min read

Investigative science journalist Sonia Shah to speak Jan. 24

Sonia Shah
Sonia Shah

Investigative science journalist and author Sonia Shah will close the 2016-17 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues with “Pandemic: From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The event was rescheduled from Nov. 9, and all tickets to the original event will be accepted.

A former writing fellow of the Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation, Shah’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American and Foreign Affairs, and has been featured on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC. Her TED talk on malaria has been viewed more than 1 million times, and Shah has lectured at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Brown and Georgetown. She was the 2014 Ottaway Professor of Journalism at SUNY New Paltz and has been frequently supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and The Nation Investigative Fund. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, philosophy and neuroscience from Oberlin College.

Shah’s most recent book, 2016’s “Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond,” was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. Her critically acclaimed 2010 book, “The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years,” was based on five years of original reporting in Cameroon, Malawi and Panama and was called a “tour de force” by the New York Times.

In her lecture, Shah will discuss the tragic tale of cholera, one of history’s most disruptive and deadly pathogens. She will then turn her attention to new pathogens that threaten humankind including Ebola, Zika, avian influenza and drug-resistant superbugs.

Michele Bever, president of the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors, adjunct associate professor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health and executive director of the South Heartland District Health Department, will give a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied Center’s Steinhart Room.

“Disease outbreaks and pandemics are not new to Nebraska,” Bever said. “Our state has experienced several pandemic influenzas over the decades and local public health departments are on the front lines, regularly warding off or curtailing outbreaks of flu, mumps, pertussis, norovirus, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. Of note, a recent computer-based study by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies suggests that Nebraska could even be a hotspot for a new pandemic.”

This year’s E.N. Thompson series, “Crossing Borders,” has explored the relevance of borders in the modern world – how they define people and, increasingly, the ways in which people ignore them in the interest of commerce, education and personal freedom.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Sonia Nazario delivered the lecture “Enrique’s Journey and America’s Immigration Dilemma” on Sept. 27. New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks gave the lecture “It’s Better Than It Looks: Election 2016” on Oct. 4.

Free tickets are available from the Lied Center for Performing Arts. To order, click here or call the ticket office at 402-472-4747. Forums are general admission events; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lectures are streamed here and are available live on Lincoln Time Warner Cable digital channel 80 and/or channel 5, channel 71.16 without a cable box, campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All lectures are interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, The Lied Center for Performing Arts and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.

Shah’s lecture is sponsored by the School of Biological Sciences, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

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