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January 27, 2021

Simon Institute at SIU to host Pulitzer Prize-winning author, historian Edward Larson

by Pete Rosenbery

ed-larson-sm.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. — Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor Edward J. Larson will discuss his academic and writing career and the nation’s “uneasy relationship with science” during a virtual discussion next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The discussion, part of the institute’s “Understanding Our New World” series via Zoom, is at noon Monday, Feb. 1.

Larson is the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and a university professor of history at Pepperdine University. He is the author or co-author of 14 books and more than 100 published articles. He received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for History for “Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.” Larson has also appeared numerous times on C-SPAN, most recently last year in connection with his book “Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership.”

A Renaissance man

John T. Shaw, Simon Institute director, noted Larson’s vast expertise and knowledge. Larson “can talk fluently about exploring Antarctica, the complexity of geoengineering, the tension between religion and science, and the accomplishments of America’s founding generation,” Shaw said.

Larson will discuss “why Americans have historically been so ambivalent about science and about the stellar leadership of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin,” Shaw said.

Registration is open

Registration for the free Zoom meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password. 

Participants can submit a question to Larson by email at or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form. 

More information on the Simon Institute’s events is available at