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More than half a dozen Big Read communities from around the United States will join online for an insightful and inspiring lecture and Q&A by Hope Jahren, a scientist from rural Minnesota who not only knows her trees and flowers, but “has some serious literary chops” (The Washington Post). Her award-winning, bestselling memoir Lab Girl tells the story of a young woman who finds friendship in odd places, battles bipolar disorder, perseveres through setbacks and relishes hard-earned triumphs, and becomes a respected scientist and passionate observer of the natural world. Called one of the best books of the year by, among others, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Time, and NPR, the memoir “does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology” (The New York Times). It’s “Immediately engrossing and extremely readable” (The Guardian). Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of the memoir Wild, describes it as “deeply inspiring” and award-winning author Ann Patchett says it “makes me wish I’d been a scientist.” “From the prologue on, a reader itches to call out fun facts to innocents nearby,” writes the Seattle Times. “Jahren writes with such flair that a reviewer is tempted to just move out of the way and quote her.”
In partnership with Academy of Lifelong Learning at Lincoln Land Community College; Chillicothe Public Library; Maryland Public Television; Morton Public Library District; One Book One Valley (Eagle County, Colorado); and Orange County Library System.
Author Bio: Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. Her best-selling books The Story of More and Lab Girl are favorites of curious readers. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She was a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from 2008 to 2016, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway.