WFU to celebrate Earth Day with symposium on environment

An award-winning nature writer, a former Sierra Club president and a nationally- known expert on science and religion are among the speakers scheduled during “Environment 2000” at Wake Forest University April 11-27.

All events are free and open to the public.

John Graham, professor of policy and decision sciences at Harvard University, will discuss “Environmental Risks: Facts, Fears and Unknowns,” at 4 p.m. on April 13 in Carswell Hall, Room 101.

He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” CNN and various prime-time specials. In the field of environmental health, Graham’s research has focused on the need to better understand the risks, costs and benefits of options in the regulatory process. His 1997 book, “The Greening of Industry: A Risk Management Approach,” shows how risk analysis and cost-benefit analysis have stimulated pollution prevention measures in various sectors of American industry. This line of research has helped stimulate efforts in the U.S. Congress and the European Union to use science and economics to improve the process of environmental regulation.

Graham is the author of six books and more than 100 scientific publications. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest, a master’s from Duke University and a doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Holmes Rolston III, the University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University, will speak at 4:30 p.m. in Tribble Hall’s DeTamble Auditorium on “Science and Religion: God and Genes.” He addressed this topic in his 1999 book, “Genes, Genesis and God: Values and Their Origins in Natural and Human History.”

He has written six books, including “Science and Religion: A Critical Survey,” “Philosophy Gone Wild” and “Environmental Ethics.” He also edited “Biology, Ethics and the Origins of Life.”

Rolston’s work has received attention in the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times and several other national newspapers.

Adam Werbach, a former president of the Sierra Club, will speak at Wake Forest on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Benson University Center, Room 401. Elected president of the national environmental organization when he was only 23-years-old, Werbach will discuss “A New Brand of Activism.”

The symposium will conclude with a talk by Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Rasmussen will speak at 4 p.m. April 27 in Winston Hall, Room A. His topic is “Sustainable Development-No! Sustainable Community-Yes!”

Rasmussen co-authored the 1998 book, “Ethics for a Small Planet: New Horizons for Population, Consumption and Ecology.” In 1996, he also wrote “Earth Community, Earth Ethics.” He edits the Society of Christian Ethics journal and has written several other books.

Jan DeBlieu, a North Carolina nature writer, opened the series with a public talk at 9:30 a.m. April 11 in Winston Hall, Room 236, and then read from her latest book, “Wind: How the Flow of Air has Shaped Life, Myth and the Land” at 7 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 102.

DeBlieu’s book won the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing, a prestigious award received by such writers as Rachel Carson and Peter Matthiessen. A long-time resident of the Outer Banks, DeBlieu has also written “A Hatteras Journal.”

DeBlieu has authored one other book, “Meant to be Wild: The Struggle to Save Endangered Species Through Captive Breeding,” which chronicles the fight to preserve the peregrine falcon, the California condor, the black-footed ferret and the Florida panther.

All events are free and open to the public. “Environment 2000” is a forum coordinated by Wake Forest’s Environmental Studies Program as part of “Science and Technology: The Next Millennium,” the university’s yearlong celebration of scientific inquiry. Individual speakers are sponsored by the English, economics, and philosophy departments; the School of Law and the Student Union.

For information, call 336-758-5788.

Categories: Community, Events, Speakers, University Announcement