This week I’m talking with Chris Thomas, professor of conservation biology at the University of York in the UK and author of the recent book ‘Inheritors of the Earth, How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction’. His numerous articles and academic works make him one of the world’s most influential ecologists, and his research has been covered on the front pages of the Guardian and Washington Post. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2012, received Marsh Awards for Climate Change Research in 2011 and for Conservation Biology in 2004, and was awarded the prestigious British Ecological Society President’s Medal in 2001.
This week is a conversation with chemist and author Kathryn Harkup about her book ‘Making the Monster, The Science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’. Kathryn completed a doctorate on her favorite chemicals, phosphines, and went on to further postdoctoral research before realizing that talking, writing and demonstrating science appealed a bit more that hours slaving over a hot fume-hood. She currently writes a monthly poison blog for the Guardian and gives regular public talks on the disgusting and dangerous side of science. Kathryn’s first book was the international best-seller ‘A is for Arsenic’, which was shortlisted for a Mystery Readers International Macavity Award and a BMA Book Award.
This week on Night White Skies is a ‘Topical Interlude’ - A fictional conversation between myself a Larry Page of Google and a look at NYC’s Central Park in 2034.
This episode is a conversation with architectural designer and theorist Christopher Hight about two science fiction books;'The Drowned World' by J. G. Ballard, and 'Seveneves' by Neal Stephenson. The two books were published over 50 years apart. Both of these books are prime candidates for this show because they each do two things. The two books discuss an evolving Earth climate as well as an evolving human species. There is also quit a bit of difference within these two books. We see very different reasons for the climate change that’s taking place, the plotlines occur over drastically different time scales, and the ‘how’ and ‘what’ that occurs to human evolution is different. The two books also open a conversation about how designers and architects can rethink the concept of resilience regarding the environment.