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Beth Moellers
IU School of Journalism

Last modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IU Journalism Speaker Series includes CBS correspondent, producer and 'Beautiful Mind' author

Jan. 14, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three distinguished newsmakers and authors will speak in Bloomington this spring as part of the Indiana University School of Journalism's Spring Lecture Series. Speaking and answering questions at free, open to the public lectures will be James Burke, a television documentary maker and author; Steve Kroft, a longtime news correspondent; and Sylvia Nasar, a best-selling author.

Since its inception in the fall of 2006, the Speaker Series has brought to campus highly regarded journalists and authors including Anna Quindlen, Nina Totenberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Ling, Frank DeFord, David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens.

James Burke will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Hailed by The Washington Post as "one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world," Burke has produced, directed, written and hosted award-winning television series (including the landmark Connections) on BBC, PBS, Discovery and The Learning Channel for more than 40 years. He is the best-selling author of Connections, The Day the Universe Changed and The Knowledge Web. He wrote a monthly column for Scientific American for six years and is currently a contributor to TIME magazine. His most recent television work is a PBS retrospective of his work, ReConnections. Burke published his latest book, American Connections: The Founding Fathers Networked in 2007. His most recent project is an online interactive knowledge mapping system to be used as a teaching aid, a tool for innovation and management, and a predictor.

Steve Kroft

Steve Kroft

Steve Kroft will speak at 7 p.m. March 31 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Kroft has been a CBS news correspondent for more than 27 years, and this season of "60 Minutes" will be his 19th on the broadcast. Kroft, who is originally from Kokomo, Ind., is a recipient of three George Foster Peabody Awards and 11 Emmy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for his body of work. Kroft interviewed Barack Obama in the president-elect's first post-election interview Nov. 19. His "60 Minutes" piece on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, titled "I.N.S." was cited as one of the reports for which CBS News won the 2003 Overall Excellence Award from the Radio/Television News Directors Association. Kroft was honored with the prestigious Renner Award for reporting on organized crime for his story "The Worst Nightmare," which was the first to document the involvement of the Russian mafia in the smuggling of nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. His exclusive interview with then Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, was reported on the front page of virtually every newspaper in the country, and continues to be cited as a defining moment of that presidential election.

Sylvia Nasar will speak at 7 p.m. April 14 at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union. Economist, journalist and professor Sylvia Nasar is the author of A Beautiful Mind, the bestseller that inspired the Academy Award-winning film starring Russell Crowe. While working as an economics reporter for The New York Times, Nasar discovered the remarkable story of John Nash, the Princeton mathematical genius who suffered from schizophrenia for three decades before recovering and winning a Nobel Prize in economics. Her biography, which won the National Book Critics' Circle Award and was a Pulitzer finalist, helped put a human face on a devastating mental illness. A writer at Fortune and columnist at U.S. News & World Report before she joined The New York Times, Nasar also has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Nasar, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and other leading publications, teaches a graduate seminar in economics reporting that focuses on globalization, growth, living standards and business cycles. She is working on Grand Pursuit, a book about 20th century economic thinkers.

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