The UB Distinguished Speakers Series will open its 2010-11 season with a left vs. right exchange between two of the most widely recognized women in political media today: Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, and Mary Matalin, Republican strategist and CNN contributor.
The series, now in its 24th season, also will feature lectures by oceanographer Sylvia Earle, bestselling author Greg Mortenson, Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and pioneering genomic researcher J. Craig Venter.
All lectures in the series will begin at 8 p.m.; Huffington/Matalin, Mortenson and Venter will appear in Alumni Arena on UB’s North Campus. Earle, Lahiri and Booker will appear in the Center for the Arts, also on the North Campus.
“This year’s exciting slate of speakers strongly reflects the scope of our reach and impact as a university,” says UB President John B. Simpson. “From shaping national and international policy to exploring new frontiers in oceanography, human genomics and world literature, our speakers this year truly cover the globe. But the common thread connecting all of them is that these artists, scientists and humanitarians are dedicated to changing the way we understand and respond to the world around us. That key objective is very much in line with UB’s mission as a public university, and the Distinguished Speakers Series provides us with an exceptional platform to pursue that mission.”
Huffington and Matalin will kick off the season Sept. 16 with a timely exchange that is sure to touch on the mid-term elections. Huffington, a frequent guest on network and cable news programs, is the author of 13 books, the latest of which, “Third World America,” will be released in September. Matalin, a bestselling author, served in the administrations of Ronald Regan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. They are co-hosts of the nationally syndicated radio program, Both Sides Now.