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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Historian John Barry will give the lecture, "Rising Tide: How social, political, economic and technological forces can create conditions that worsen ‘natural’ disasters," Monday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The lecture, which is open to the public without charge, is the first in the 2006-07 Science, Technology, and Society Colloquium Series, "Technological Turning Points: Technology, Geopolitics, and Economics in the 21st Century."

Barry is the author of the award-winning Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History and many other notable books and articles.

His lecture will examine the themes of uneven technological progress and how social, economic, and political forces create conditions that worsen "natural" disasters in spite of our best technological know-how.

He will discuss how the lessons learned in the way political leaders exacerbated the problems caused by these disasters and in the mistakes made in the emergency response still resonate today, particularly in light of the tragedy in the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the potential threat of another pandemic flu.

A native of Rhode Island and graduate of Brown University, Barry is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Tulane University.

Other speakers in this series will explore issues such as oil, debt, religion, and geopolitics (Kevin Phillips, Nov. 1); global and national implications of innovations in building (Volker Hartkopf, Feb. 5); and the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of modern economic growth (Joel Mokyr, March 21).

For more information on the series, see

Posted Sept. 8, 2006


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