Garrett to speak on bioterrorism in W. Va

Laurie Garrett, an Pulitzer Prize-winning author and political analyst, will speak on the subject of bioterrorism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, on Monday at the 26th annual Yeager Symposium.

Garrett will lead a lecture entitled "Bioterrorism: The Modern Peril."

Garrett is the author of multiple books, including "Betrayal of Trust," "The Coming Plague" and "I Heard the Sirens Scream." She was one of the three scientific consultants on the 2011 film "Contagion," Huntington News reports.

Rikki Miller and Shaina Taylor are Yeager Scholars and co-chairs of the symposium, which is called "The New Terror: Emerging Threats to National Security." Taylor said that Garrett was the first choice to speak on the subject of bioterrorism.

"Her body of work is outstanding from any point of view," Taylor said, according to Huntington News. "Rikki and I worked tirelessly to bring her to Marshall, and we were overjoyed when we received her confirmation. What makes Garrett so special, though, is not only her lengthy list of accomplishments but her ability to present dense scientific material in a way that is both accessible and easy to understand."

On Tuesday, in the first part of the symposium, political science professor Jason Morrissette spoke on a subject entitled "The Politics of Fear: Domestic and Lone-Wolf Terrorism in the U.S."

"We really wanted to showcase some of Marshall's own talent," Taylor said, according to Huntington News. "(Morrissette) is extremely knowledgeable on the topic, and his lecture style is very much engaging."

Taylor and Miller said that they wanted to select a topic for the lecture series with interdisciplinary appeal.

"Finding a way to fuse politics and biology was not always necessarily easy or evident to us in the early stages of the planning process, but we eventually settled upon the umbrella concept of terrorism in the 21st century, which allowed us to feature speakers on domestic and lone-wolf terrorism as well as bio-terror," Taylor said, according to Huntington News. "We felt that this topic not only had broad appeal, but that it also spoke to many fears and anxieties relevant to the American people today."