Pulitzer Prize-winning ecology expert Jared Diamond 2009 Coe Contemporary Issues Forum speaker

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2009-01-20 08:12:31 - General

Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel," will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium.

Reserved seats are available for $10 for the general public, $5 for students and seniors, by calling the Coe Box Office at 319-399-8600 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Diamond is universally regarded as one of the greatest minds of our time, with expertise in multiple disciplines leading to fascinating theories on ecology and environmental issues. Author of several best selling books, Diamond's interests range from environmental history through evolutionary biology to molecular biology. With "Guns, Germs, and Steel," Diamond explains the environmental and geographic reasons why certain human populations have flourished. In his newest book, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," Diamond discusses why ancient societies, including the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones, such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Diamond asserts these social collapses were due in part to the same environmental problems that beset us today. Diamond's body of work has also been the subject of a PBS special, "Great Minds of Science: Evolution." He is also the author of numerous articles, including "What's Your Consumption Factor?", that was published as a guest opinion in the New York Times in January 2008.

Currently a professor of geography at UCLA, Diamond earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1961. He is the recipient of more than two dozen major awards, including the MacArthur Foundation genius grant. In 1999, President Clinton bestowed America's highest civilian award in science, The National Medal of Science, to Diamond for his landmark research and breakthrough discoveries in evolutionary biology. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the field of conservation biology.

Established by the late K. Raymond Clark '30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. In its first five years, the forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau.