UC Irvine’s 10th annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series begins this month with political pollster John Zogby revealing why Americans voted as they did. Leading intellectuals in science and literature will round out the series in 2009.

Each year the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series brings respected scholars and nonacademics to the campus to share insights and expertise. Presentations are free and open to the public.

Zogby will discuss “How Americans Voted in November and Why.” The political polling firm, Zogby International, was founded in 1984 and gained recognition in 1992 when it released a poll predicting that Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York, would lose that state’s presidential primary to George H.W. Bush. Pinpoint precision in subsequent election predictions earned Zogby praise as “the most accurate pollster” (Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, USA Today) and “the pacesetter in the polling business” (New York Post). In this year’s election Zogby International partnered with Reuters and C-SPAN.

Zogby’s lecture will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Emerald Bay Room, UCI Student Center.

The lecture series continues in the winter with the following events:

  • Troy Duster and Dianne Pinderhughes, “Race and Equality in America”
    3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, University Club
    Duster, a sociology professor at New York University and former president of the American Sociological Association, studies the sociology of science; his recent writing includes an article on how ethnicity plays a role in biomedical research. Pinderhughes is a Presidential Faculty Fellow in Africana Studies and Political Science at Notre Dame University who studies inequality, with a focus on racial and ethnic politics and public policy. She currently is researching the evolution of civil rights organizations and voting rights.
  • Robert F. Sawyer, “The Science and Politics of Air Pollution”
    7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center
    Sawyer, Class of 1935 Professor of Energy Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School at UC Berkeley, was appointed head of the Air Resources Board in 2005 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and fired 18 months later amid differences of opinion on leadership. His current research interests are air pollution, motor vehicle emissions, energy and environment, and regulatory policy.
  • Richard Carmona, M.D., “Prevention, Preparedness, Plagues and Politics: The Life of the Surgeon General”
    3:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center
    Carmona, Distinguished Professor of Public Health at University of Arizona, was U.S. Surgeon General from 2002 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. After leaving government service, he criticized the political environment, which he said stifles scientific findings when they conflict with the reigning ideology. He maintains that the position of “the nation’s leading doctor” has been marginalized.
  • Edward Hirsch, “My Pace Provokes My Thoughts: Poetry and Walking”
    7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, Doheny Beach Room, UCI Student Center
    A prize-winning poet and essayist, Hirsch is the author of “How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.” In the best seller, he said his was aim was to “present certain emblematic poems I care about deeply and offer strategies for reading these poems.” He describes the power of verse as “the indefinable harmony between what it says and what it is.” He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which provides fellowships in diverse areas of study.

For more information: 949-824-6503