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WSU Undergraduate Education WSU Common Reading

“Being Wrong” Author Kathryn Schulz at WSU Feb. 24 for Common Reading Invited Lecture

PULLMAN, Wash. – Kathryn Schulz, author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error,” will present the Common Reading Invited Lecture at Washington State University at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in Beasley Coliseum.  The public is welcome.

“Being Wrong” is the 2013-14 book chosen as the university’s common reading and is being used in dozens of first-year and other classes on campus. Topics from the book inspire academic discussions among students and faculty, and are the subjects of lectures presented throughout the year by faculty on their research and by other guest experts.

“We are excited to welcome Kathryn to Pullman, and look forward to her interactions with students and faculty as well as her evening presentation,” says Susan Poch, co-director of the common reading program, part of the Office of Undergraduate Education. “Her book has been well received by the WSU community and many interesting conversations have been, and are being, inspired by it.”

“Being Wrong” touches on topics ranging from neurology to social bias to the roots of comedy and narrative. Karen Weathermon, also co-director, believes the book has been a good fit in especially two ways.

“Schulz’s basic premise is that while most of us abhor being wrong, it actually presents an opportunity to realize something new about ourselves, our world, our beliefs. At our research university, things often go presumably ‘wrong’ in a researcher’s work. When we look into why they went wrong, it often happens that new paths open to different discoveries. In fact, all research starts with a desire to investigate something that we don’t understand fully, or even that we realize we have ‘wrong.’”

“The book has also been a good fit for students. Being able to see their own challenges and failings as opportunities for growth is a valuable skill for them to develop.”

Schulz is also a journalist, public speaker, and book critic for New York Magazine. Her freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME Magazine, the Boston Globe, the “Freakonomics” blog of The New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. In 2012, she won the National Book Critic Circle’s Nona Balakian Prize for Excellence in Reviewing. She is the former editor of the online environmental magazine Grist, and a former reporter and editor for The Santiago Times, of Santiago, Chile, where she covered environmental, labor, and human rights issues.

She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now the International Reporting Project), and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East.

A graduate of Brown University and a former Ohioan, Oregonian, and Brooklynite, she currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has been featured in a Ted Talk and on YouTube.

For more information on the common reading program, visit http://commonreading.wsu.edu.


Jan. 28, 2014

SOURCE: Karen Weathermon, Co-Director, WSU Common Reading Program, 509-335-5488, kweathermon@wsu.edu

Susan Poch, Co-Director, WSU Common Reading Program, 509-335-7767, poch@wsu.edu

LINK: To Daily Evergreen story