Dan Levitt at Harvard Book Store
What's Gotten Into You:
The Story of Your Body's Atoms,
from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner
in conversation with DEBORAH BLUM
February 7, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes author and documentarian DAN LEVITT for a discussion of his new book What's Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner. He will be joined in conversation by DEBORAH BLUM—Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About What's Gotten into You
Every one of us contains a billion times more atoms than all the grains of sand in the earth’s deserts. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ve got enough carbon to make 25 pounds of charcoal, enough salt to fill a saltshaker, enough chlorine to disinfect several backyard swimming pools, and enough iron to forge a 3-inch nail. But how did these elements combine to make us human?
All matter—everything around us and within us—has an ultimate birthday: the day the universe was born. This informative, eye-opening, and eminently readable book is the story of our atoms’ long strange journey from the Big Bang to the creation of stars, through the assembly of Planet Earth, and the formation of life as we know it. It’s also the story of the scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries and unearthed extraordinary insights into the composition of life. Behind their unexpected findings were investigations marked by fierce rivalries, obsession, heartbreak, flashes of insight, and flukes of blind luck. Ultimately they’ve helped us understand the mystery of our existence: how a quadrillion atoms made of particles from the Big Bang now animate each of our cells.
Shaped by the curious mind and bold vision of science and history documentarian Dan Levitt, this wondrous book is no less than the story of life itself.
Praise for What's Gotten into You
“A truly astonishing and eminently readable work of chemical detection, provocative, surprising and alive with moments when you just want to tug your neighbor’s sleeve and ask—can you believe this?” —Simon Winchester, bestselling author of The Perfectionists and editor of Lapham's Quarterly
"Dan Levitt's What's Gotten Into You is one fascinating journey, from the fireworks of the Big Bang to the busy life of cells, this is a story of scientific discovery, history, dazzling egos, quiet courage, and pure unexpected insight. In other words, the best kind of story. Don't miss it." —Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Poisoner's Handbook and The Poison Squad
"Levitt sheds light on the tiniest bits of what humans are made of in his stellar debut . . . . This is marvelous." —Publishers Weekly
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
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Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
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