First-rate investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author Richard Preston will speak at Central Michigan University as part of the CMU Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium. His talk, titled “Inside the Hot Zone,” is free and open to the public.
Preston will discuss the origins of the Ebola virus from its first appearance in 1976 to the epidemic of today and tell the inside story of his critically acclaimed book, “The Hot Zone.” He also will give an update on the most recent developments of Ebola, including possible treatments for the virus, and provide his perspective on the world of emerging and returning viruses.
A gifted storyteller, Preston first took the world by storm in 1994 with “The Hot Zone,” a nonfiction thriller that introduced readers to the threat of Ebola and other viruses. The book spent 42 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, was translated into more than 30 languages and inspired several fictional adaptations, including the 1995 hit film “Outbreak” that starred Dustin Hoffman, Renee Russo and Morgan Freeman.
Preston also authored “The Cobra Event,” “The Demon in the Freezer” and “The Wild Trees,” all books that have put him at the forefront of the discussion of emerging diseases and biotechnology.
His most recent technological thriller co-authored with the late Michael Crichton, “Micro,” was released in 2011 and is about a group of graduate students working for a biotech company in Hawaii who end up stranded in a rainforest with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them.
A writer for The New Yorker since 1985, Preston is the only nonphysician to have received the Centers for Disease Control's Champion of Prevention Award. He also holds an award from the American Institute of Physics, the AAAS-Westinghouse Award and the McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.