The Lab Lit Book Club
About the Book Club
UO’s Lab Lit Book Club is modeled after a monthly science book club at the Royal Institution in London. We will discuss literary fiction, science communication, and the narrative challenge of pairing accurate science with a compelling story. We aim to attract a diverse group. So please feel free to invite your friends and family members, if they are book lovers, as well as colleagues in other departments.
In the spring, we’ll discuss Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures, a novel that traces the friendship between Mary Anning (1799-1847), “the greatest fossil-hunter ever,” and her collaborator Elizabeth Philpot.
The Spring Lab Lit Book Club meets on June 5 at 7 p.m. in Price Science Library B042.
During summer, we’ll read The Devil’s Garden by Edward Docx. In this novel, a scientist studies ant behavior at a South American research station, but his work is backdropped by political upheaval. Date and time for the summer Lab Lit Book Club meeting are TBD.
Winter term, we’ll read Harry Thompson’s account of Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle. This work of historical fiction has been published under two titles: To the Edge of the World (US) and This Thing of Darkness (UK).
Join us at 7 pm on Wed. Nov. 14th in Room B042 of the Science Library (PSC 042), when we’ll discuss Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe. The Glass Universe is a history of Harvard College Observatory, and “tells the fascinating story of a brilliant all-female team who helped toredraw the universe – and a woman’s place in it.” Everyone is welcome; just read the book and come prepared to discuss it.
Our summer term book is The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. The Last Days of Night is a work of historical fiction, set in the late 19th century, and it tracks a legal battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over patent No. 223, 898—a patent for a light bulb. Nikola Tesla is another major character, and even Alexander Graham Bell makes an appearance.
We’ll meet to discuss The Last Days of Night on Wednesday, August 8th at 7 pm in Room B042 of the Science Library. Everyone is welcome.
When the Killing’s Done is the story of Alma Boyd Takesue, a conservation biologist with the National Park Service, who organizes an effort to remove invasive species from the Channel Islands of California. But her work is vigorously opposed by an activist group, For the Protection of Animals, which objects to the killing of animals under all circumstances.
At our first meeting, Nov. 29 at 7 PM in LISB 217, we discussed Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.
“In Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, ‘Flight Behavior,’ a central character is an entomologist tracking the effects of global climate change on monarch butterflies…There’s a love story, of course, and a coming-of-age story…But the take-away of this novel is that nature is off kilter, spinning out of control, changing before our very eyes.” – NY Times