Virtual Event: Bill Schutt
A Natural History of the Human Heart
in conversation with PATRICIA J. WYNNE
September 22, 2021
6:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome BILL SCHUTT—acclaimed author and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History—for a discussion of his latest book, Pump: A Natural History of the Heart. He will be joined in conversation by collaborator and celebrated illustrator PATRICIA J. WYNNE.
Contribute to Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Pump on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
Millennia ago, when we first began puzzling over the mysteries of the human body, one organ stood out as vital. The heart was warm, it was central, and it moved as it pumped blood. The ancient Egyptians treated it with reverence, mummifying it separately from the body so that the soul inside it could be weighed. Aristotle believed that it was the seat of consciousness. Over the centuries, science has dispelled the myths, but our fascination with the heart has endured.
From the origins of circulation, still evident in some microorganisms today, to the enormous hearts of blue whales, we journey with Bill to beaches where horseshoe crabs are being harvested for their life-saving blood, and under the sea to learn about the world’s most natural antifreeze, flowing through the veins of icefish. And we follow him through human history, too, as scientists hypothesize wrongly and rightly about what is arguably our most important organ, ultimately developing the technologies that have helped us study the heart—and now, in the most cutting-edge labs, the tools that will help us regenerate it.
Deeply researched and engagingly told, Pump is a fascinating natural history sure to be loved by readers of Mary Roach and Bill Bryson.
Praise for Pump
"Schutt covers a lot of ground here and discusses serious science, but his witty style keeps it readable . . . An engaging, often droll look at the engine of life and the long history of efforts to understand it." —Library Journal
“As Bill Schutt delightfully shows us in his new book, hearts have gripping stories to tell about a huge range of topics, from the history of life on our planet to the foibles of humankind.” —Ian Tattersall, coauthor of The Accidental Homo Sapiens
“Narrating stories from across the animal kingdom, Schutt brings his usual intelligence and humor to this well-curated natural history of the heart and circulatory system. Pump is not your cardiologist’s book on the heart. A rich and entertaining read that will leave you feeling smarter.” —Darrin Lunde, author of The Naturalist
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.
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