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In her landmark book, The Human Age, Diane Ackerman confronts the fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet.

Dava Sobel, the author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, joins her to explore revelations about the many ways we’ve altered our bodies, our planet, our minds, our future and the linchpins of everyday life.

There will be a selling and signing of Diane Ackerman's The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us and Dave Sobel's A More Perfect Heaven following the event.


Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.


Brief Bios

Poet, essayist and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses―books beloved by millions of readers all over the world. In prose so rich and evocative that one can feel the earth turning beneath one’s feet as one reads, Ackerman’s thrilling observations urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles.


Science writer Dava Sobel is the author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets and A More Perfect Heaven. She worked as a reporter for the science section of The New York Times, a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine, a columnist for Discover and spent many years as a full-time free-lance magazine writer before she discovered that writing books was more fun. Sobel has also written a play about Copernicus, called And the Sun Stood Still, which will have its first fully staged production in spring 2014 with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company in Colorado.

Before coming to Smith, Sobel enjoyed two other similar teaching positions—as the Robert Vare Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence at the University of Chicago in 2006 and as the Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Doenges Visiting Artist/Scholar at Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA) in 2011.

Sobel's current book project, tentatively titled The Glass Universe, concerns the women who worked as computers for the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1870s through the early 20th century (several of them were Smithies!). More information about Dava Sobel is available on her website,

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