Award-Winning Science Writer to Speak at UT

KNOXVILLE — David Quammen, award-winning author and columnist for Outside magazine, will speak Tuesday, March 12, at the University of Tennessee.

Quammen will deliver the Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture at 8 p.m. in the UT University Center Shiloh Room.

His talk titled “Midnight in the Garden of Fact and Factoid” will explore the consequences of writers blurring the line between fact and fiction.

David Quammen

A columnist for Outside magazine for 15 years, Quammen’s books include “Natural Acts,” “The Flight of the Iguana,” “Wild Thoughts from Wild Places” and “The Boiler Plate Rhino.”

In 1996, he published “The Song of the Dodo,” a nonfiction epic on evolution, ecology and extinction.

He has won two National Magazine Awards, the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Academy Award in Literature.

“Everyone in science and nature writing recognizes David Quammen as an extraordinary author,” said Dr. Mark Littmann, who holds UT’s Chair of Excellence in Science, Technology, and Medical Writing. “Quammen can pen a phrase that sticks in your memory and profile a character in a handful of words.

“His book ‘The Song of the Dodo’ is a beautifully told, heart-rending story with wonderful phrasing and marvelous writing.”

The Hill lectures bring distinguished science writers to UT to talk about science, society and the mass media.

The series is funded by an endowment created by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents Alfred and Julia Hill, who founded Oak Ridge’s daily newspaper, The Oak Ridger.

The Hill family’s endowment of the lecture series was a gift to UT’s School of Journalism and Public Relations in the College of Communications.

Admission is free and open to the public. Quammen also will answer questions from the audience and autograph his books, which will be available for purchase at the lecture.