The McMurrin visiting Professor for 2009-2010 is Tom Vanderbilt who will speak about his book, TRAFFIC Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us). Here is a bit of biographical information borrowed from his web site:
Tom Vanderbilt writes on design, technology, science, and culture, among other subjects, for many publications, including Wired, Slate, The London Review of Books, Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal, Men’s Vogue, Artforum, The Wilson Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine,Cabinet, Metropolis, and Popular Science. He is contributing editor to the design magazines I.D. and Print, and contributing writer of the popular blog Design Observer.
The McMurrin Professorship:
The Sterling M. McMurrin Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Utah was endowed by O. C. Tanner in 1980. This professorship honors Professor McMurrin who was himself an E. E. Ericksen Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University, former U.S. Commissioner of Education, former Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Utah, and a noted philosopher and historian.
The McMurrin Professorship brings to the University a scholar of recognized eminence in his or her field. The purpose of this endowed chair is to raise the level of campus discourse and enrich undergraduate education in cooperation with a selected college or department each year. McMurrin Professors are expected to offer one or two public events and to be available to meet with undergraduate students and faculty.
Duties and responsibilities of McMurrin Professors are associated both with the Undergraduate Studies Program and with the college or department in which the visiting scholar's discipline is located. This arrangement is intended to enrich the opportunities available to the McMurrin Professor, while maximizing the benefits that will accrue to the University.
The search committee for McMurrin Professors is the Undergraduate Council. The committee seeks nominations from college councils, deans, department chairpersons, and individual faculty.
Past appointees to this special faculty position include Reginald F. Cane, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tasmania; Elof A. Carlson, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; Marvin Harris, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida; Herbert C. Kelman, Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University; Richard Howard, Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati & recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1970; Jacques d'Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute and for years a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet; William S. Fyfe, world-renowned earth scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario; Marshall W. Kreuter, international authority on health education and community intervention programs, founder of Health 2000 and former Director of the Division of Chronic Disease Control & Community Intervention; Sotigui Kouyate, a griot from Mali (griots transmit history orally from generation to generation) and a member of the world renown Peter Brook Company; Werner Herzog, German film director (films include Aguirre, Wrath of God, Nosferatu, and Fitzcarraldo); Jeffrey O. Segrave, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Exercise Science, Dance and Athletics at Sidmore College and specialist on the modern Olympic Games; Jane Goodall, famous for her primatology research with chimpanzees and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation; Philip Lee, Professor at the School of Public Health, University of California and former Assistant Secretary for Health for presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton; Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago Law School; David C. Young, an Olympic historian, Department of Classics at the University of Florida; Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of law and Ethics, University of chicago Law School; Stephen hartnett, Speech Communication, University of Illinois, Urbana; charles c. Mann, journalist and author of "1491: A History of the America Before Columbus"; and Doug Sweetland, animator and director at Pixar Studios.