Guns, germs and foreign affairs |

Guns, germs and foreign affairs

Seminars at Steamboat keep issues topical in 2008 series

Margaret Hair

Steamboat Springs — Pandemics, foreign policy and world peace will be among the topics of the 2008 Seminars at Steamboat. — Pandemics, foreign policy and world peace will be among the topics of the 2008 Seminars at Steamboat.

— Pandemics, foreign policy and world peace will be among the topics of the 2008 Seminars at Steamboat.

Jane Stein, a part-time Steamboat resident and spokeswoman for the seminars, said each of the selected issues relates to current events in the nation and world. The first three speakers of the summer series have been announced, and one or two more speakers will be announced when they are confirmed, she said.

“We’re off to another great start, and I want to stress that we will have more, and the other issues will be very topical,” Stein said.

On July 10, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm will talk about the future of infectious diseases, in a seminar titled “The Next Influenza Pandemic: A Harbinger of Things to Come?”

“These are issues that people are very concerned about, along with bioterrorism and agents that could get into the environment and cause world health issues,” Stein said.

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Osterholm is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, associate director of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Center for Food Protection and Defense and a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota.

Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., will address foreign policy Aug. 7, in a seminar titled, “Perspectives on Foreign Affairs and World Governance.” Talbott, who is a former deputy secretary of state and worked as Washington bureau chief for Time Magazine, spoke about foreign policy at a previous seminar, and Stein said his talk this time would be an updated version.

“He will key his discussion to some issues that will be very contemporary during the summer,” Stein said.

On Aug. 21, Galia Golan will address conflict in the Middle East in a seminar titled, “Israel, Palestine and the Chances for Peace.” As a founder of Peace Now, Golan has been heavily involved with trying to settle territorial conflicts between Israel and Palestine, Stein said. With the Bush administration’s recent entry into the peace process for the first time in seven years, Golan’s seminar will cover subjects getting national attention, Stein said.

“These are all three extremely topical issues – with the new meeting of the Bush administration trying to get the road map for the Israelis and the Palestinians moving again,” Stein said.

Golan has served as chairwoman of the department of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She teaches at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. Her most recent book, “Israel to Palestine: Peace Plans and Proposals from Oslo to Disengagement,” came out in November.

Seminars at Steamboat drew about 1,800 people to its four lectures last year. The seminars will take place in the Strings in the Mountains pavilion, which is under construction.