Upcoming Symposium Speaker Investigates Environmental and Medical Relations

Dan Fagin will deliver the keynote address for the upcoming Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Te Ata Auditorium at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Fagin is a respected science and investigative journalist and the recipient of a 2014 Pulitzer Prize.

Upcoming Symposium Speaker Investigates Environmental and Medical Relations


Dan Fagin, science journalism professor at New York University and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address for the eighth annual Ray, Mary & Nita Giles Symposium for Citizenship and Public Service Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. The event is free and open to the public.

Fagin received the Pulitzer Prize for his book Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.  He writes frequently about environment science. 

Native to Oklahoma City, Fagin has been an environmental journalist since working at Newsday in 1990.  Prior to Toms River winning the Pulitzer, he was a two-time member of reporting teams that were Pulitzer finalists. 

Toms River recounts the 60-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made the area a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China.

The Township of Toms River was the secret dumping place for large chemical companies. A cluster of childhood cancers was scientifically linked to the local air and water pollution. 

Fagin recounts the stories of pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer. 

“Dan Fagin has the ability to combine the excitement of a novel with a scholarly approach to an issue critical to our day,” said Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement. “He created this work of nonfiction with deep scholarly regard to science/medicine, history and personal aspects,” Nealeigh said.

In addition to winning the Pulitzer for General Nonfiction, Toms River has been awarded the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, the National Academies Science Book Award and the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Rachel Carson Environment Book Award.

It also was on several lists of the best books of 2013 including NPR and Kirkus, and in 2015, a Chinese language version was published by the Shanghai Translation Publishing House.

Fagin also is the co-author of Toxic Deception, which was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Prize in 1997.

He is the former president of the Society of Environmental Journalist, the oldest and largest association of journalists dedicated to improving the quality, accuracy, and visibility of environmental coverage.  He has been a Templeton-Cambridge Fellow in Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge and also had fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the Institution of Artic Biology in Toolik Lake, Alaska. 

He earned a degree at Dartmouth College in 1985.  During his time there, he was the president and editor-in-chief of the independent daily college newspaper, The Dartmouth.

Fagin’s books will be sold at the USAO Bookstore and outside Te Ata Auditorium the evening of the lecture.   

More information about the Giles Symposium is available online at