West Virginia Universitys Festival of Ideas continues Monday (March 9) with a presentation by Walter Isaacson, a best-selling author and distinguished leader in American media.

Isaacsons talk,The Evolution of Mass Communication,will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms, followed by a book signing and reception. The event is free and open to the public.

Isaacsonformer chief executive officer of CNN and former editor of Time magazineis president and CEO of The Aspen Institute, one of the worlds pre-eminent think tanks, and chairman of the board of Teach for America.

His latest book,Einstein: His Life and Universe,was a New York Times best-seller and extrapolates Isaacsons views on great leaders and how their work can help people respond to the challenges and crises of today.

He uses Einsteins methods to explore the nature and importance of creativity in the fields of science, the arts and business.

Isaacson is also the author of several other acclaimed biographies on some of historys most notable figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Dwight D. Eisenhower and other American leaders during the Cold War.

He was appointed vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricane Katrina and is on the boards of directors of United Airlines and Tulane University.

WVU s Festival of Ideas ( http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu/ ) continues through April with a diverse group of national experts discussing the latest ideas about their respective fields.

Upcoming speakers include economist William Easterly, journalist Gwen Ifill and paleoanthropologist and zoologist Meave Leakey.

A few of the talks are also part of the Universitys DarwinFest, a series of activities surrounding the 200th birthday of naturalist Charles Darwin. For more information onDarwin: Evolutionary Science and Its Impacts on Society,an interdisciplinary celebration involving colleges and schools across the University, go to http://darwinfest.wvu.edu/ .

The Festival of Ideas lecture series was revived shortly after WVU President Emeritus David C. Hardesty Jr. took office in 1995. It was inspired by events he organized as WVU student body president in the 1960s.

Each year since, the Festival of Ideas has brought key figures from the fields of sports, politics, business, entertainment, research, scholarship and culture to Morgantown. The presentations are free and open to the public.

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.