Annalee Newitz

discusses

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember:
How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

in conversation with SETH MNOOKIN

This event includes a book signing

Date

Apr
10
Thursday
April 10, 2014
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes science journalist and editor of io9.com ANNALEE NEWITZ and contributing editor for Vanity Fair SETH MNOOKIN for a discussion of Newitz's new-to-paperback book Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction.

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference.

It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions. 

This speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.

Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds.

Annalee Newitz
Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz is the founding editor of the science Web site io9.com and a journalist with a decade’s experience in writing about science, culture, and the future for such publications as WiredPopular ScienceThe Washington PostThe Atlantic, and The New Yorker. She is the editor of the anthology She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Geeky Stuffand was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Wilkins and Breanne Willoughby

Seth Mnookin
Seth Mnookin

Seth Mnookin

Seth Mnookin is the Associate Director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, won the National Association of Science Writers 2012 “Science in Society” Award and the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association’s Will Solimene Award for Excellence. 

Photo Credit: John Huba

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

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