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The Weird and Wonderful World with Mary Roach

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Age: Adult, Teen

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Experience an entertaining and hilarious evening with New York Times best-selling science author, Mary Roach - despite her claim that “people call me a science writer, though I don't have a science degree and sometimes have to fake my way through interviews with experts I can't understand”! Roach will discuss her frank approach to science, the importance of humor, and explore the weird, wonderful world in which we live.


Dubbed “America’s funniest science writer” by the Washington Post, Roach has explored topics from the curious lives of human cadavers, packing to visit space, the afterlife, the alimentary canal, and more. Roach claims to have no hobbies, but enjoys bird-watching, hiking, playing scrabble, and watching late-night Animal Planet.

Mary Roach is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Her newest book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, debuted September 2021. Mary's books have been published in 21 languages, and her second book, Spook, was a New York Times Notable Book.


Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, and the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, among others. She was a guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing series and an Osher Fellow with the San Francisco Exploratorium and serves as an advisor for Orion and Undark magazines. She has been a finalist for the Royal Society's Winton Prize and a winner of the American Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let's be honest, she was the sole entrant.


Annalee Newitz will join Mary Roach in conversation. Newitz has a Ph.D. in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley and is one half of the hilarious podcast, Our Opinions are Correct. On their show, Newitz delves into the weird, wonderful, and nerdy framework of science in pop culture.


This event is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present, a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering premier events. ILP is funded in part by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). ILP is committed to inclusion and accessibility. To request accommodations, please email illinoislibrariespresent@gmail.com