Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 6:00p -

Rabb Lecture Hall: Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

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History, Lectures & Conferences, Nature, Tech

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For readers of Bill Bryson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Siddhartha Mukherjee comes a wildly ambitious, vastly entertaining work of popular science. WHAT’S GOTTEN INTO YOU: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner by acclaimed science and history documentarian Dan Levitt, tells the riveting story of the elements that make up the human body—and how these building blocks of life travelled billions of miles, across billions of years, to make us who we are.

Following the one-hour-long discussion with WBUR senior health and science reporter Gabrielle Emanuel about the book, there will be an author signing at 7 PM facilitated by Posman Books.

This program will happen in person, now in the Rabb Lecture Hall. To attend, please register on this Eventbrite page.

More about the book

Every one of us contains a billion times more atoms than all the grains of sand in the earth’s deserts. If you weigh 150 pounds, you have enough carbon to make 25 pounds of charcoal, enough salt to fill a saltshaker, enough chlorine to disinfect several backyard swimming pools, and enough iron to forge a 3-inch nail. But how did these elements combine to make us human? 

All matter—everything around and within us—has an ultimate birthday: the day the universe was born. Levitt’s eye-opening, and eminently readable book tells the story of our atoms’ long strange journey from the Big Bang to the creation of stars, through the assembly of Planet Earth, and to the formation of life as we know it. It’s also the story of the scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries and unearthed extraordinary insights into the composition of life. Behind their unexpected findings were investigations marked by fierce rivalries, obsession, heartbreak, flashes of insight, and flukes of blind luck. Ultimately, they’ve helped us understand the mystery of our existence: how a quadrillion atoms made of particles from the Big Bang now animate each of our cells.

Shaped by the curious mind and bold vision of science and history documentarian Dan Levitt, this wondrous book is no less than the story of life itself.

About the author

Dan Levitt spent over 25 years writing, producing, and directing award-winning documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, Science, History, PBS, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has produced films on how Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and Hawking made their greatest discoveries; the archeology of Custer’s Last Stand; a new theory on dinosaur evolution; and the scientific search for alien life. Dan began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, teaching high school physics and biology.

About the moderator

Gabrielle Emanuel joined WBUR as a senior health and science reporter in 2021. She started her journalism career at NPR — first as a Kroc Fellow, then as a reporting fellow for the education team. She also spent five years as a reporter at GBH.

Gabrielle’s stories regularly appear on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Consider and she has reported episodes for Planet Money and Code Switch. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and The Atlantic.

She has received numerous awards, including national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Sigma Delta Chi Award and a Clarion Award. Gabrielle received her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and her doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

About the BPL's COVID-19 health and safety protocols:

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16/02/2023 18:00:00 16/02/2023 19:30:00 America/New_York Dan Levitt — What's Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner <p>For readers of Bill Bryson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Siddhartha Mukherjee comes a wildly ambitious, vastly entertaining work of popular science.&nbsp;<strong>WHAT’S GOTTEN INTO YOU:&nbsp;<em>The ... Rabb Lecture Hall: Boston Public Library, Boston, MA 02116 false DD/MM/YYYY