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Summer Science Series Continues
Terror, Horror and Sorrow: Tennessee’s Greatest Historic Epidemics

June 22, 2005

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—If you thought last year’s flu season was severe, imagine 1,300 flu-related deaths in one flu season—in a single city. That city was Nashville, and the year was 1918.

In the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, scientists readily searched for the causes of epidemic diseases, such as the flu, yellow fever, cholera and smallpox but without much progress. While illnesses plagued the New World and the Tennessee people, theories about the causes of such epidemics ranged from immorality to airborne poisonous gases.

Allen Coggins, an Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) employee working in ORAU’s Environment, Safety and Health Office, will present “Terror, Horror and Sorrow: Tennessee ’s Greatest Historic Epidemics” Tuesday night at a free, public lecture at Pollard Technology Conference Center. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is the second lecture in the 2005 Summer Science Series, sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

The Summer Science Series will continue at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, as Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Dr. Linda Horton presents “The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Facility and Its Capabilities.”

On July 26, Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Science Center and author of Death’s Acre, will present “Forensic Science 101: Anderson County Cases.”

All lectures in the Summer Science Series are free of charge and open to the public, and all events in the series will be held in the auditorium of Pollard Technology Conference Center (, which is located at 210 Badger Ave. in Oak Ridge.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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