Laurie Garrett: Polk, Peabody, Pulitzer and Pandemics

Have you heard the latest on the most recent outbreak of bird flu? See what the Council on Foreign Relations’ Senior Fellow on Global Health has to say.

Laurie Garrett is the only writer ever to receive the three “Big P’s” of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk, and the Pulitzer.

Garrett graduated from UC Santa Cruz with honors in Biology; then went to graduate school at UC Berkeley, where she started reporting on science news for KPFA-FM, a San Francisco Bay area radio station. She abandoned her doctoral studies for journalism and in 1977, Garrett won the Peabody Award in Broadcasting for a documentary series she co-produced, called “Science Story”.

After spending a year reporting in foreign hot spots, like the (then) USSR and sub-Saharan Africa, Garrett spent eight years as a science correspondent for Nation Public Radio. Then, in 1988, Garrett went on to the science writing and foreign desks at Newsday, a New York newspaper. In 1996, she received the Pulitzer Award for Explanatory Journalism, amongst many other awards, for her coverage of the Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire. Within the four following years, Garrett was awarded the Polk award twice, first in Foreign Reporting for Garrett’s “Crumbled Empire, Shattered Health” and then in Best Book for Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health.

Garret has written two other best-selling novels, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.

In 2004, Garrett left Newsday to join the Council on Foreign Relations. She now runs the Council’s Global Health Program, serving as the Senior Fellow for Global Health.

Hear Garrett’s perspective on pandemics and how this can relate to the latest in bird flu and other outbreaks.

For more of Garrett’s advice on global health, don’t miss this year’s The Atlantic Meets the Pacific. This third annual conference, hosted by UC San Diego Extension and The Atlantic Magazine will be held October 2nd through 4th at the Scripps Seaside Forum and the Qualcomm Institute (formerly known as Calit2) in La Jolla, California.

For more information on registration and speakers, visit

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