Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental journalist Dan Fagin to speak at UGA

Environmental journalist Dan Fagin will discuss his 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation,” March 19 at 4 p.m. in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology's auditorium.

The talk, which will be followed by a reception and book signing, is sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication's Health and Medical Journalism Program, the Odum School and the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program. The event is free and open to the public.

Called “a new classic of science reporting” by The New York Times, Toms River is an environmental detective story about a small town in New Jersey devastated by toxic industrial waste. Fagin tells the stories of individuals seeking answers — and justice — from the chemical factory that polluted the town's air and water, exploring the intersections of cancer epidemiology, public health, politics and industry.

As well as the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, Toms River was 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.

Fagin is the co-author, with Marianne Lavelle, of “Toxic Deception,” published in 1997 and reissued in 2002, in which he investigates how and why so many toxic chemicals are found in food, clothing and other products deemed safe by regulators. He has written frequently for publications such as The New York Times, Slate, Nature and Scientific American and was the environmental writer for Newsday for 15 years.

Fagin is an associate professor and director of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program in the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He currently is working on a book about monarch butterflies.

Copies of Toms River will be available for purchase after the seminar.

For more information about the Health and Medical Journalism Program, see www.grady.uga.edu/medicaljournalism. For more about the Odum School, see www.ecology.uga.edu. For more about the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, see www.uga-eecp.com.

Date: March 2, 2015
Author:  Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu
Contact:  Patricia Thomas, pthomas@uga.edu; Sonia Altizer, saltizer@uga.edu