Best-selling author to discuss her true crime and science thriller

Deborah Blum

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and best-selling author Deborah Blum will open Victoria College’s 2014-15 Lyceum Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15 in the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

The Lyceum lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Deborah Blum is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of five books, most recently “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York,” which was named one of the top 100 books of 2010 by Amazon.

“I was intrigued by her book, “The Poisoner's Handbook,” said Lisa DeVries, VC associate English professor and Lyceum Committee chair. “I've always been fascinated by true crime and the history of criminology. The committee also thought she would greatly appeal to our nursing students, the Science Club, Police Academy and others interested in forensic science.”

A highly acclaimed science journalist and former president of the National Association of Science Writers, Blum is also co-editor of A Field Guide for Science Writers. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, optioned for film, and has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Slate, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Discover, and Health. She also writes about chemistry and culture for the Public Library of Science at her blog, Speakeasy Science.

Blum is the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches science writing, creative nonfiction and literary journalism.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Blum went to work as a science writer for McClatchy Newspapers in California, starting with The Fresno Bee and moving to The Sacramento Bee in 1984. She worked in Sacramento for 13 years, going to Alaska to cover glaciers, Hawaii to observe volcanoes, Pasadena to write about the triumphant arrival of Voyager 2 at Uranus, and Houston to report on the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

She wrote about global climate change and ozone depletion, nuclear weapons design and government secrecy and the biology of behavior. Her most influential work was a series on ethical issues in primate research, called “The Monkey Wars,” which won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting.

Published: Thursday, 11 September 2014

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