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Scientific American Editor and Author Fred Guterl to Appear at Carleton

September 27, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Fred Guterl, an award-winning journalist who is the executive editor of Scientific American magazine, will appear in the Carleton College Gould Library Athenaeum on Friday, Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m. in support of his latest book, “The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It” (Bloomsbury USA, 2012). The book, which will be available for purchase at the event, describes the current environmental catastrophe caused by human inventions and future threats to our civilization. The event is free and open to the public.

Despite many warnings about rising sea levels and the perils of biotechnology, Guterl argues that we know little about what may actually happen in the future. “The Fate of the Species” describes such scenarios as pandemics and mass extinction events in vivid detail and discusses how such grim futures may be avoided.  Guterl’s book is a fascinating guide to the threats humans have created and is a reminder that technology may be both the cause of existential threats and the means of combating them.

Guterl is a veteran journalist who specializes in science, technology and international affairs. Before working at Scientific American he was deputy editor of Newsweek, and previously served as editor at Discover and IEEE Spectrum. Under Guterl’s leadership, Scientific American won the General Excellence Award from the National Society of Magazine Editors for the first time in its 166-year history. His 1996 article “Riddles in the Sand,” written for Discover about the physics of sand, won the journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his 2001 co-written article “The Wasteland”, about nuclear waste in Russia, was honored by the overseas press club. Guterl has been featured on many popular television programs including The Today Show, Charlie Rose, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Bookstore at (507) 222-4153 or by email at The Carleton Bookstore is located in the Sayles-Hill Campus Center, off College Street South in Northfield. Copies of “The Fate of the Species” are currently available for purchase at the Carleton Bookstore, and will also be available for purchase at the event.