Lab Lit Book Club

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.

Current Readings

Fall 2018

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 UniverseThe 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. 

For more information, please contact Rachel Rodman or Phil Lotshaw


Winter term, we’ll read This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson, a work of historical fiction about Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle. Meeting dates for winter are TBA.




Past Readings

Summer 2018

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.

Spring 2018

Join us at our next meeting on Wednesday May 9th, at 7 pm, in Room B042 of the Science Library, when we will discuss T. C. Boyle’s When the Killing’s Done.

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.

Fall 2017

At our first meeting, Nov. 29 at 7 PM in LISB 217, we’ll discuss 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