San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Stories are one of the oldest and most effective ways to make sense of the world. And yet, in science writing, sometimes the demands of making a good story work against the goals of presenting an accurate picture of science, especially when research is full of uncertainties and unknowns. On August 13th, Ed Yong and Maria Konnikova, two of the best science writers working today will discuss that tension and how they approached it in their respective new books—I Contain Multitudes, about microbiomes and the amazing partnerships between animals and microbes; and The Confidence Game, about the minds, motives, and methods of con artists.
Ed Yong is a staff science writer at The Atlantic. His work has appeared in Wired, the New York Times, Nature, the BBC, New Scientist, Scientific American, the Guardian, the Times, and more. His first book I Contain Multitudes—about how microbes influence the lives of every animal, from humans to squid to wasps—will be published in 2016 by Ecco (HarperCollins; USA) and Bodley Head (Random House; UK).
Maria Konnikova is The New York Times-bestselling author of The Confidence Game (Viking/Penguin, 2016) and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013). Konnikova is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, where she writes a regular column with a focus on psychology and culture, and her writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, California Sunday, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, WIRED, Scientific American, and The Smithsonian, among numerous other publications. She is a contributing editor for The New Republic, a recipient of the 2015 Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship, and a Schachter Writing Fellow at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center. She hosts the weekly “Is that BS?” segment for Slate’s popular podcast, The Gist, and has been a frequent guest on national television and radio. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University.
About the Festival of the Unknown
It’s about time we confess our ignorance, celebrate the ambiguous, and salute what’s left to explore. Let’s pay tribute to our age of uncertainty at The Festival of the Unknown.
We've brought together a series of exciting shows to take us on a journey through the world of unknowns—from science to history to our personal identities. Join us this August 12-17 for insightful, important, and powerful talks, conversations, and comedy.
Expect special live presentations from the podcasts You're the Expert, Flash Forward, and The Story Collider, new talks by The Atlantic’s Ed Yong, Ars Technica’s Annalee Newitz, the premier of a new live show by SNL’s Will Stephen, and much more. See all events here.
When & Where
Idea Distillery creates live experiences for curious people. Over the next few months we’ll be announcing more original events around New York City and new places to connect with interesting ideas online.
If you’re curious, please sign-up for our mailing list.