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

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.