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A Virtual Book Party!

A Virtual Book Party!

Location: American Institute of Biological Sciences
Presented by: Authors Chris Mooney and Carl Zimmer

Webinar Description

How can issue-based activities make science come alive for students? How do issues reflect our changing world? How can issues illustrate how the process of science works? In the first part of the web seminar, participants will explore how to use the peer-reviewed, bilingual web site (English and Spanish),, to incorporate issues into their teaching and extend the site's resources to activities that examine the process of science.AIBS will provide participants with a chance to interact with these two exceptional science writers. Plus, participants can win copies of Mooney's Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future and Zimmer's The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution. Checkout these featured books in the AIBS Webstore. Registration for the virtual book party is free but space is limited. Register now.

Chris's Presentation Description:

For every five hours of cable news, less than a minute is devoted to science; 46 percent of Americans reject evolution and think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old; the number of newspapers with weekly science sections has shrunken by two-thirds over the past several decades. The public is polarized over climate change--an issue where political party affiliation determines one's view of reality--and in dangerous retreat from childhood vaccinations. Meanwhile, only 18 percent of Americans have even met a scientist to begin with; more than half can't name a living scientist role model.

A plea for enhanced scientific literacy, Unscientific America urges those who care about the place of science in our society to take unprecedented action. We must begin to train a small army of ambassadors who can translate science's message and make it relevant to the media, to politicians, and to the public in the broadest sense.

Carl's Presentation Description:

The Tangled Bank is the best written and best illustrated introduction to evolution of the Darwin centennial decade, and also the most conversant with ongoing research. It is excellent for students, the general public, and even other biologists.

-- Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, author of Consilience

The Tangled Bank is the first textbook about evolution intended for the general reader. It takes readers on a fascinating journey into the latest discoveries about evolution. In clear, non-technical language, Zimmer explains the central concepts essential for understanding new advances in evolution, including natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. He demonstrates how vital evolution is to all branches of modern biology--from the fight against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the analysis of the human genome. Richly illustrated with 285 illustrations and photographs, The Tangled Bank is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of life on Earth.

Following Chris's and Carl's talk, participants in the webinar will have the opportunity to ask the presenters questions and discuss public understanding of science and education and evolution topics. Additionally, Chris and Carl have made available a gratis copy of each of their books, which will be given to two lucky participants.

About the Presenters

Chris Mooney


Chris Mooney is a 2009-2010 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and author of three books including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science, which was dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American. His other books are Storm World and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, which was co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. Chris and Sheril also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs.

In the past, Chris has also been visiting associate in the Center for Collaborative History at Princeton University, and is a contributing editor to Science Progress and a senior correspondent for The American Prospect magazine. He has been featured regularly by the national media, having appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, MSNBC's "Morning Joe," CSPAN's Book TV, and NPR's Fresh Air With Terry Gross and Science Friday (here and here), among many other television and radio programs.

Carl Zimmer


Carl Zimmer writes about science for The New York Times, National Geographic, and a number of other publications. He has won a number of awards for his work, including the National Academies Communication Award and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism award, which he won in 2004 and 2009. He is the author of seven books about science, for which he has been awarded fellowships from the John Guggenheim Foundation and the Alfred Sloan Foundation. Zimmer is a lecturer at Yale, where he teaches science writing, and he is a visiting scholar at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is, to his knowledge, the only science writer ever to have a tapeworm named in his honor.

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