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University Lectures series to present special conversational panel discussion on Gulf of Mexico oil spill

September 01, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

On April 20 of this year, BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion killed 11 men and caused hundreds of millions of gallons of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico unabated for more than three months, causing the largest environmental disaster in United States history.

The long-term impacts of this disaster will be explored in a special University Lectures presentation at Syracuse University on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The conversational panel discussion,“Blowout: What the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Means for You and the Future of American Energy,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel and is free and open to the public. Reduced-rate parking will be available in the Irving Garage. For more information, visit Facebook at

The panel presentation is sponsored in cooperation with the Office of the Chancellor and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.

A distinguished group of panelists from a range of disciplines will explore the environmental, social and geographic impacts of the disaster that will linger for years to come, even though the oil has stopped flowing. Will the spill ultimately have an impact on the broader issue of climate change? What will the impacts be on Gulf Coast residents for years to come? These questions and more will be explored.

National Public Radio Science Correspondent Joe Palca will moderate the panel discussion. Palca has covered the story of the oil spill from the Gulf of Mexico.

Panelists will include:

  • Lee Clarke, professor of sociology at Rutgers University. Clarke is a sociologist who studies social organization, disaster and technology. He is the author of “Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination” (University of Chicago Press, 2005), and “Mission Improbable: Using Fantasy Documents to Tame Disaster” (University of Chicago Press, 2001).
  • Kishi Animashaun Ducre, assistant professor of African American Studies in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Ducre focuses on environmental sociology and environmental justice and has worked with the people of Louisiana for more than a decade.
  • Matt Huber, assistant professor of geography in SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences. Huber, an expert in political economy, energy and resource governance, will speak on livelihood, justice and regulation.
  • Christopher Scholz, professor of earth sciences in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. An expert in ocean science, Scholz will speak about deep-water drilling and the oil and gas industry.

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or to obtain additional information about The University Lectures, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at 443-2941 or

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