PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University announces that the twelfth annual Common Reading Invited Lecture will be presented at 7 p.m. Mon., Oct. 22, in CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom, featuring Kelly and Zach Weinersmith. The event is open at no cost to everyone; a book signing will follow the lecture.
“How Little We Know: Why Most of Our Opinions Are Probably Wrong” is the title chosen for the lecture by the authors of this year’s common reading book at the college. Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything is being used in dozens of WSU classes for first-year and other students. Extracurricular programming and events help to take the conversation about book topics beyond the classrooms.
“Soonish is proving to be an interesting and fun book for our students, because it raises ideas and questions that challenge their critical thinking skills about topics such as interactions between humans and robots, practical applications for augmented reality technology, and the possibilities of precision medicine,” said Susan Poch, program co-director and chair of the selection committee that proposed the book.
“We look forward to welcoming the Weinersmith’s to WSU and learning about how they came to write Soonish and chose the topics to include in it.”
Kelly Weinersmith is a scientist who studies how host behavior influences the risk of infection by parasites, and how phenotype-manipulating parasites alter host behavior. She is an alumna from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earned her Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California-Davis, and is currently an adjunct assistant professor at Houston’s Rice University in the biosciences department. Since 2011, she has been a science blogger and podcaster.
“The Weekly Weinersmith” podcast, currently on hiatus, is produced with husband, Zach, an award-winning webcartoonist, actor, director, and creator of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It has an archive of more than 4,000 comic strips, and has its own spinoffs. He graduated in English from Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges in California, and later attended San Jose State University to pursue physics.
“One of the most unique aspects of the book Soonish is the science humor infused by Zach’s colorful cartoons,” said Karen Weathermon, program co-director. “There are Kelly and Zach likenesses, Neanderthal friends, salesmen, a fortune teller, and more, all saying things that make points for readers to ponder.”