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The Health Storytelling series of live online interviews with prominent authors of new books on health and science returns this semester with two extraordinary writers: Jo Handelsman, PhD, author of A World Without Soil: The Past, Present, and Precarious Future of the Earth Beneath Our Feet (Yale University Press), and Emily Willingham, PhD, author of The Tailored Brain: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship, A User’s Guide to Feeling Better and Thinking Smarter (Basic Books). 

In this series, returning for its fourth semester, CSHH Senior Fellow Maryn McKenna talks to writers about their obsessions, motivations, aspirations, and disappointments – along with their research hacks, unpredicted discoveries, and best writing advice. Past episodes have featured Debora Mackenzie of New Scientist, author of the first book on the Covid-19 pandemic; Emily Anthes, now of the New York Times, on the built environment; Nicola Twilley of The New Yorker and her co-author and spouse Geoff Manaugh, on quarantine; Daisy Hernandez, winner of the inaugural National Book Foundation/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science + Literature Award, on Chagas disease; Olivia Campbell on the first women to earn medical degrees; Dr. Perri Klass of NYU on how concern for women and children built public health in the US; Chelsea Wald on the global quest to transform toilets; and Emory’s own Dr. Cassandra Quave on her personal journey to uncover the lost knowledge of ethnobotany and transform drug discovery.

Dr. Handelsman, who will be interviewed at 6 p.m. on March 29, is the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and the founder of Tiny Earth, a consortium of college instructors and students across the world dedicated to discovering new antibiotics from soil bacteria. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama.

Dr. Willingham, who will be interviewed at 6 p.m. on April 19, is a science writer and editor, a regular contributor to Scientific American, and the author of Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis (Penguin/Avery) and co-author with Tara Haelle of The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource For Your Child’s First Four Years (TarcherPerigee/PRH).

Maryn McKenna, who created the Health Storytelling series and teaches health and science writing and storytelling in CSHH, is a senior writer at WIRED and the author of Big Chicken (National Geographic/PRH), Superbug (Free Press/Simon & Schuster) and Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the CDC (Free Press/Simon & Schuster).

The Health Storytelling Author Q&A series is cosponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress.

To register and receive a viewing link, sign up at the Author Series site.