Park Scholars to Host Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society Featuring Thomas Hager

The Elkan Lecture has been rescheduled to Oct. 1, 2020.


North Carolina State University’s Park Scholarships Class of 2022 will host the 2020 Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6:00 p.m. The online event will be free and open to the public. Thomas Hager, an award-winning author whose writing has focused on climate change, clean energy, and the future of food, will give a lecture entitled “How to Talk About Science in a Post-Truth World.” This program is supported by the University Speakers and Lectures Committee, the Harrelson Fund, the NC State University Libraries, the Honors and Scholars Village, and the University Honors and Scholars Programs.

Hager’s writing examines the ways science and technology change human lives. He is the author of twelve books on science and medical history, as well as more than 100 feature and news articles in a variety of popular and professional periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Reader’s Digest, and Cardio. He holds a master’s degree in medical microbiology and immunology from the Oregon Health Sciences University, as well as a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. He is currently a courtesy associate professor of journalism and communication at the University of Oregon.

Hager is the recipient of several national awards, including the American Chemical Society’s highest public communications prize, the 2017 Grady-Stack Award. His 2008 book The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler was a finalist for the National Academies Communication Award, listed among the “Best Books of the Year” by Kirkus Reviews, and named a Borders “Original Voices” Selection.

The Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society was established by its namesake’s former students, associates, and friends in honor of Dr. Elkan’s 40-year career as a microbiology professor in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This lectureship supports an annual talk at NC State by a prominent thought leader.

Dr. Elkan has been deeply involved with the Park Scholarships program since its inception in 1997. He and his associates worked closely with the Park Scholars of the Class of 2022 to select Thomas Hager as the third Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lecture in Science and Society speaker. Past recipients of the lectureship include water quality engineer Dr. Marc Edwards and renowned health policy expert Dr. Nicole Lurie