Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for 30 years. She is the author of seven books. Her most recent book is the New York Times Bestseller, The Genius of Birds (Penguin Press, 2016; paperback, 2017). Scientific American describes the book as “a lyrical testimony to the wonders of avian intelligence," and The Wall Street Journal calls it "a gloriously provocative and highly entertaining book." The book was named one of the 10 best nonfiction books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, a Best Science Book of 2016 by National Public Radio's "Science Friday", a Best Book of the Year by The Spectator and the National Post, and a Nature Book of the Year by the London Sunday Times. It was a finalist for the 2017 National Academies Communication Book Award and for the 2017 Smart Book Award in Poland and was long-listed for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. The Genius of Birds is published in twenty languages, including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Jennifer’s previous books include Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold (Twelve Press, 2010), Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity (Houghton Mifflin 2001), and Notes from the Shore (Viking Penguin, 1995), to be reissued in a new edition by Penguin Press in 2019 entitled Birds by the Shore. A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, and many other publications, Jennifer is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an NEA Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Institute Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her articles and essays have been included in several anthologies, among them, Best American Science Writing, The Nature Reader, Best Nature Writing, Flights of Imagination: Extraordinary Writings About Birds, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. Jennifer’s work aims to explain and interpret science for a lay audience and to explore the riddle of humanity’s place in the natural world, blending scientific knowledge with imaginative vision.
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Photo by Cary Wolinsky