Hugh Downs joins Lawrence Krauss in an Origins Project dialogue


Skip Derra

Television legend and Emmy Award winner Hugh Downs will sit down with Arizona State University’s Lawrence Krauss for an intimate discussion on politics, religion, sex and science. The event, “Downs and Krauss: An Origins Project Dialogue,” will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, 2016 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

“Hugh Downs is an incredible, interesting and thoughtful man,” said Krauss, director of the Origins Project at ASU. “Indeed one of the most interesting people I have had the pleasure to get to know. Moreover, he has lived through more technological and social change than most of the rest of us, all the while in the public eye; he can comment on it with unusual intelligence and wit. He broke barriers on television with the first woman co-host, to interviewing the late Martin Luther King Jr., and he has broken barriers in life, including going acrobatic stunt gliding on his 90th birthday.

“People may not realize that Downs helped advance the environmental movement in the early 1970s and 1980s before we really talked about global warming, and his interest in reproductive rights dates to the early 1970s before Roe v. Wade,” Krauss said. “He was talking about melting ice in the early 1980s and then visited Antarctica, writing a follow-up piece in 1991 called ‘Who Owns Antarctica?’ He has been an advocate of science and media literacy, and with our continually changing media landscape, it will be fascinating to have a public conversation ranging across a wide spectrum of topics, including some that are too controversial for television.” 

Downs, the former "Today Show" host, also will talk about his more than 70 years of influence in media, the changing landscape of public knowledge, and the few taboos that remain in modern journalism.

Tickets are $15; $35 for VIP passes; and free for ASU students. To reserve free student tickets (one ticket per student), please email or call the Scottsdale Center for the Arts box office at 480-499-8587. You must identify yourself as an ASU student and will need your student ID when you pick up your tickets at the box office.