Author featured at TED2015 will discuss antibiotic controversy

The University of Georgia's Voices from the Vanguard series continues April 7 as Maryn McKenna, author of “Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA,” explores the battle over adding antibiotics to animal feed.

The presentation, “Antibiotics and Agriculture: Finding and Losing the Miracle Drugs,” takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Agriculture and public health experts have fought about adding antibiotics to animal feed since the practice began in the 1950s. An expert on the topic, McKenna will share her perspective on the ongoing battle surrounding the practice. Last month she gave a TED talk about this controversy in Vancouver, B.C.

McKenna is an accomplished author and journalist focusing on public health, global health and food policy. McKenna is a contributing writer for Wired, a contributor to National Geographic's food platform The Plate, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a research affiliate in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT.

Prior to her career as an independent journalist and author, McKenna worked for 10 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was the only U.S. journalist assigned to full-time coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also worked for the Boston Herald and as a staff member at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of Minnesota.

In addition to her ongoing work, McKenna writes for national and international magazines including Scientific American, Slate, SELF, The Atlantic, Nature, Modern Farmer, the Guardian and China Newsweek. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Boston Magazine and various other publications. Her work has also been collected in “The Best Science Writing Online 2012” and “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014.” More information is available at

This is the tenth anniversary of the Voices from the Vanguard series, a joint venture of the Grady College of Health and Medical Journalism program and UGA's Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. Daniel G. Colley, director of the CTEGD and Patricia Thomas, Knight Chair of Health and Medical Journalism at Grady College, direct the series. This lecture is the final of four and all are included in UGA's Freshman Odyssey Seminar calendar.

A complimentary reception will follow the talk at Demosthenian Hall.

For additional information, visit

Date: March 25, 2015
Author:  Morgan Beavers,
Contact:  Patricia Thomas,