Pulitzer Prize Winning Author to Visit USAO April 10

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author to Visit USAO April 10


CHICKASHA – An author of Pulitzer proportions is planning to visit the University of Science and Arts on April 10, 2007. As part of the Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium, special guest author Dr. Jared Diamond will address students, faculty, staff and community members in a public forum about past civilizations and implications for current and future ones.

The bestselling author won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his blockbuster, “Guns, Germs and Steel,” a non-fiction book that looks into the success of Europeans and Asians as they conquered indigenous African, Australian, South Pacific and New World tribes throughout history.

“Dr. Diamond is an internationally recognized scholar who uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research,” said Dr. Darryel Reigh, professor of chemistry. “He represents the broad liberal arts perspective that we at USAO attempt to give our students as a backdrop to experience our culture. It is a privilege to bring a writer and scholar with Dr. Diamond's credentials to USAO and to the State of Oklahoma.”

Diamond is expected to speak about the trends and factors involved with the success and failure of societies. A host of special guests from the state and the University will join Diamond for the day’s events, including a special public liberal arts education symposium that afternoon.

The study of why civilizations rise and fall is not uncharted territory for Diamond. His latest book, “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,” explores ruined societies, such as Easter Island, the Anasazi and Viking colonies of Greenland and what led to their demise. Diamond surmises that if environmental problems helped pave the way to destruction, modern scholars can learn how to avoid similar collapses in current societies.

A professor of geography at UCLA, Diamond is the recipient of multiple awards, including the MacArthur Foundation genius grant, the conservation medals of the Zoological Society of San Diego, the Carr Medal and Japan’s international Cosmos Prize.

In 1999, Diamond received the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton, the highest civilian award in science, for his research and discoveries in evolutionary biology. Two years later, he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for his contributions to the field of conservation biology.

He also was featured on a PBS special, “Great Minds of Science: Evolution.”

Diamond earned a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard.

In his book, “Globalization: For Better or For Worse,” Diamond addresses the impact of Sept. 11, 2001, on the psyche of the American public. Specifically, Diamond spotlights the new American awareness of global contact and its unpredictable nature, such as AIDS, terrorism, illegal immigration and diabetes epidemics. Diamond asserts that remote societies can no longer collapse without influencing the rest of the world.

His other bestselling books include “The Third Chimpanzee” and “Why is Sex Fun?”