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Meet the Author Series


About - Meet the Author Series

This program is offered in partnership with the Friends of Fondren Library. Each semester a Rice alumni or faculty member discusses a book they have written followed by a reception where guests can meet the author.

Upcoming Meet the Author Event

Scott Solomon, Ph.D., Professor in the Practice in the Department of BioSciences

Thursday, April 27, 2017
6–7 p.m. talk and discussion 
7–8 p.m. reception

CLICK HERE to register for this event.

Join Rice alumni and friends for a special event featuring Scott Solomon, Ph.D., a Professor in the Practice in the Department of BioSciences, who will discuss his book "Future Humans: Inside the Science of our Continuing Evolution." A question-and-answer session and casual reception will follow. Co-sponsored by the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) and the Friends of Fondren Library, the Meet the Author series features books written by Rice alumni, faculty and staff.

The Book

In this intriguing, evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine the future evolution of our species. Combining knowledge of our past with current trends, the book offers convincing evidence that evolutionary forces still affect us today. But how will modernization—including longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel, and widespread use of medicine and contraceptives—affect our evolutionary future? Solomon presents an entertaining and accessible review of the latest research on human evolution in modern times, drawing on fields from genomics to medicine and the study of our microbiome. Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary history—one that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.

The Author

Scott Solomon teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and scientific communication as a Professor in the Practice in the Department of BioSciences. He received a doctorate in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Texas at Austin where his research examined the evolutionary basis of biological diversity in the Amazon Basin. As a postdoc he was a visiting researcher with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Rio Claro, Brazil. His writing and photography have appeared in publications such as SlateAeon, Nautilus, and and his first book, Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution was published by Yale University Press in October, 2016. He is a Baker Institute Civic Scientist, a Fellow of the Center for Teaching Excellence, and a Resident Associate at Baker College where he lives with his wife, Catharina, their three children, and a one-eyed dog.

Past Speakers

Arnaud Chevallier '98, '01, Associate Vice Provost and Instructor of Strategic Thinking

Arnaud ChevallierArnaud Chevallier '98, '01, Associate Vice Provost and instructor of strategic thinking in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, researches tools to help people solve complex, ill-defined problems. A Rice graduate (MS ’98 and PhD ’01 in Mechanical Engineering), he is a former strategy consultant. He is currently an associate vice provost at Rice, where he teaches in the engineering school.  He spoke about his book "Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving" which provides practical ways to develop problem solving skills, such as investigating complex questions with issue maps, using logic to promote creativity, leveraging analogical thinking to approach unfamiliar problems, and managing diverse groups to foster innovation. 

Anthony Pinn, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religion

Professor Anthony Pinn spoke in Spring 2016 about his book "Humanism: Essays on Race, Religion and Popular Culture," which provides a humanities-based analysis and description of humanism in relation to these cultural markers. The book explores humanism in relation to how life is arranged, socialized, ritualized and framed. In addition to his role as professor, Pinn is the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) at Rice. CERCL uses curricular innovation and imaginative research agendas to enhance models of leadership within the urban context.

Scott Dodson '96

Lovett College alumnus Scott Dodson '96 spoke about his book "The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg." The book chronicles and evaluates the remarkable achievements Ginsburg has made over the past half century and includes chapters written by prominent court watchers and leading scholars from law, political science and history. Dodson is currently the Harry and Lillian Hastings Research Chair and Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of Law.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Baker Institute for Public Policy fellow for the Middle East

Professor Kristian Coates Ulrichsen discussed his book "The First World War in the Middle East," an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Ulrichsen is the fellow for the Middle East at Rice Baker Institute for Public Policy and an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) in London.

Elizabeth Crook ’82

Elizabeth Crook '82 spoke about her book "Monday, Monday," which follows three students caught up in the massacre and the relationship that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair and a vow of secrecy that will span 40 years. Crook is the author of four books and currently lives in Austin with her husband and two children.

Doug Brinkley, Baker Institute for Public Policy fellow and professor of history

Professor Doug Brinkley spoke about his acclaimed book "Cronkite," the definitive and revealing biography of renowned news anchor Walter Cronkite.In addition to being a professor and fellow at Rice, Brinkley is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage, as well as a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly.

Friends of Fondren

Co-sponsored by the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) and the Friends of Fondren Library, the Meet the Author series features books written by Rice alumni, faculty and staff.

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