Leading Voices: Author Examines Peril and Promise of Energy

Award-winning author and journalist Seamus McGraw will deliver the final lecture of this summer’s “Leading Voices in Energy, Sustainability, and Security” series.

“Seamus McGraw has written a wonderful book about fracking—hydraulic fracturing for natural gas—in Pennsylvania,” says Andrew Friedland, the Richard and Jane Pearl Professor in Environmental Studies. “He writes and speaks about the implications of our energy choices with firsthand knowledge and has an engaging personality. He is the ideal final contributor to our lecture series.”

Seamus McGraw is the final lecturer in the “Leading Voices in Higher Education” summer series. (Photo courtesy of Seamus McGraw)

Every year, the summer series accompanies a course for sophomores, who spend the term at Dartmouth, and meet with the speakers prior to the lectures. Friedland teaches this year’s course.

McGraw will give a talk entitled “Facing the Peril and Promise of Energy in an Age of Climate Change” at 4 p.m. on August 15 in Moore Hall’s Filene Auditorium.

McGraw has been awarded the Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors. He has been honored by the Casey Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In The End of Country, McGraw writes about his native northeastern Pennsylvania and the conflict between area residents and gas companies that arose after the discovery that the land holds some of the world’s richest natural gas deposits. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune called the nonfiction work “a rare, beautiful, and, yes, sometimes heartbreaking examination of the echoes of water-powered natural gas drilling—or fracking—in the human community.”

The “Leading Voices” series started in 2011. The first series, “Leading Voices in Politics and Policy,” brought national political figures, presidential candidates, and policymakers to campus. Last summer’s “Leading Voices in U.S. Foreign Policy” included talks with a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a former Defense Department official, and a retired Navy admiral. The “Leading Voices in Higher Education” series, part of the strategic planning process, featured visits from prominent figures in higher education and concluded this spring.