Sept. 28: A Virtual Conversation with Carl Zimmer, Author of A Planet of Viruses

A Virtual Conversation with Carl Zimmer, Author of A Planet of Viruses

Tuesday, September 28, at 7 PM EDT on Zoom

Science Writers in New York welcomes back New York Times science journalist Carl Zimmer (@carlzimmer) for a virtual conversation with SWINY co-chair David Levine (@dlloydlevine) about his book, A Planet of Viruses (third edition, The University of Chicago Press, published in April 2021.).

In 2020, an invisible germ—a virus—wholly upended our lives. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or COVID-19. But viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long that we are actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in deep caves miles underground.

Fully revised and updated, with new illustrations and a new chapter about coronaviruses and the spread of COVID-19, A Planet of Viruses pulls back the veil on this hidden world. It presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate as long as life endures.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl began writing about science for The New York Times in 2004. He has won many awards for his work, including the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science.

Carl is the author of 14 books about science. We had the pleasure of interviewing Carl about his last two books: Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive, and She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, which was named the best science book of 2018 by the Guardian. He is an adjunct professor of biophysics and biochemistry and a lecturer in English at Yale University. 

Have a question for Carl you would like answered?
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Tuesday, September 28
7 to 8 PM EDT


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