A Whitman Sampler of Delightful Science Writing (1st 7 weeks)
W 2017

Description

These essays by the evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson are as delightful for the mind as a Whitman’s Sampler of nougats, cordials, creams and caramels are for the taste buds.  But these Op-Ed columns are not simple musical candy; indeed, they’re very thoughtful – and thought-provoking – analyses of current issues in science, bio-medicine and human behavior written in lucid, graceful style.

Judson, the granddaughter of the eminent science historian Freeland Judson, ponders the genetic closeness of humans and chimpanzees; the tantalizing features that distinguish men and women; Charles Darwin’s unraveling the process of evolution; the prospect of tailored health care; the obesity epidemic and the justification for eradicating several mosquito species – 13 years before the Zika virus began to be widely scattered around the world by Aedes mosquitoes.

Based at Imperial College London, she has been a reporter for The Economist and has written for a number of other publications, including The Atlantic and National Geographic.  She is also the author of “Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex.”

For several years Judson wrote a weekly column for The New York Times.  Each of these reports was, and still is, a crystal of clarity on matters evolutionary.  In this SDG participants will select one of her columns (see the list below) and build a discussion on the topic.  Come join us as we explore the unconventional thinking of a fascinating biologist.

 

Weekly Topics

1.      The Last Calendar.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Jan. 22, 2013. “By the time he was 76, my father was frail.  His balance was poor and he had trouble… (read  more)

2.    The Origin of Darwin.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Published: Feb. 12, 2009 .... But not surprised.

 3.     On Humans and Suicide, “A Long, Melancholy Roar.”  By OLIVIA JUDSON, an evolutionary biologist, writes about how the human species is its ...Oct. 14, 2009

 4.  Why I'm Happy I Evolved.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Published: Jan. 1, 2006. London ....

 5.  An Evolve-By Date.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Nov. 24, 2009

 6.  The Fantasy Genome Project.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Here's a game for a rainy afternoon.  If you could pick any organism to have its whole genome sequenced, what would it ... Sept. 01, 2009

 7.  So Long, and Thanks. Olivia Judson on the influence of science and biology on modern life. ...writing about all this is that I wanted to gripe about the fate of … June 29, 2010

 8.  Let's Get Rid of Darwinism.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. (The third part in a series celebrating Charles Darwin.) Charles Darwin was a giant. He did not merely write “On the Origin ...July 15, 2008

 9.  A Language of Smiles.  By OLIVIA JUDSON · on the influence of science and biology on modern life. Oct. 27, 2009

10. Unorthodox.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. on the influence of science and biology on modern life. Feb. 09, 2010

11. Reflections on an Oyster.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. An oyster shell sits on the table in front of me. But I'm not about to have an  oyster feast: I won't be squeezing a lemon, ...Dec. 30, 2008

12.Brain Damage.  By OLIVIA JUDSON · on the influence of science and biology on modern life. Tags: Alzheimer's, diet,  Exercise ...April 20, 2010

13. When Life Goes Cloudy.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. White clouds. From the abyssal depths to the tropical shallows, Feb. 19, 2008

14. The Creation of Charles Darwin.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. In case you missed it, 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication ...Sept. 08, 2009

15. Defeating Bedlam.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. This week, I want to look at one of the unglamourous, but essential, parts of science:        the problem of how to organize the ...Dec. 16, 2008

16. Tree-mendous.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. Olivia Judson on the influence of science and biology on modern life. Tags: fossils,             plants, shrubs, trees.April 06, 2010

17. Divide and Diminish. By OLIVIA JUDSON · on the influence of science and biology on modern life.March 16, 2010

18. Laboratory Life.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. on the influence of science and biology on modern life. Tags: Aging, Evolution, labs, mice.April 13, 2010

19. A Natural Selection.  By OLIVIA JUDSON. (The fourth part in a series celebrating Charles Darwin.) Last week, I discussed  how evolutionary biology has changed ...July 22, 2008