Xavier Speaker to Address Role of Soil in Societies

Third Lecture in Xavier"s Ethics/Religion and Society Series | February 16, 2010


David Montgomery will address “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations”on Sunday, March 14 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Schiff Conference Center in Xavier’s Cintas Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. He will be speaking about his second book, awarded the 2008 Washington State Book Award for General Nonfiction, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations.  The event is co-sponsored by the University of Cincinnati’s President’s Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability.
With this book, Montgomery focuses on the vital importance of soil fertility in the evolution of ancient and modern societies. By examining the past with both a historical and scientific perspective, he is able to analyze current issues of soil abuse and offer warnings and solutions.
Montgomery is 2008 MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. His publications include his first book, King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run on Salmon and numerous articles in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.
The purpose of the Ethics/Religion and Society program is to encourage ethical and/or religious analysis of socially significant issues. For 2009-2010, the focus is “Food and Agriculture” under the general three-year theme of “Ecology and Sustainability.” Speakers will offer reflections on various issues associated with sustaining human life through food production. The lecture series is only a part of the Ethics/Religion and Society (E/RS) program, whose excellence has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH awarded the program a challenge grant of $400,000, requiring the University to raise an additional $1.6 million to establish an endowed chair, purchase library and computer resources, support a lecture series and provide continuing education opportunities for faculty.