Hybrid Event: Bethany Brookshire, Pests, with Laura Helmuth

Tue Dec 06 2022 at 07:00 pm to 08:00 pm

East City Bookshop | Washington

East City Bookshop
Publisher/HostEast City Bookshop
Hybrid Event: Bethany Brookshire, Pests, with Laura Helmuth
East City Bookshop welcomes Bethany Brookshire to discuss her book, Pests, in conversation with Laura Helmuth
About this Event

East City Bookshop welcomes award-winning science writer, Bethany Brookshire for a discussion of her book, Pests. Joining her in conversation is Editor in Chief of Scientific American, Laura Helmuth.

Note on Format: This hybrid event will have both an in-person component with limited seating as well as a virtual broadcast via Zoom Webinar. Both in-person and virtual attendees will be able to pose questions to the authors during audience Q&A.

COVID-19 Information: Please note that East City Bookshop continuously monitors public health guidance to ensure the safety of customers, authors, and our staff and reserves the right to adjust in-person events. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for all in-person attendees.


An engrossing and revealing study of why we deem certain animals “pests” and others not—from cats to rats, elephants to pigeons—and what this tells us about our own perceptions, beliefs, and actions, as well as our place in the natural world

A squirrel in the garden. A rat in the wall. A pigeon on the street. Humans have spent so much of our history drawing a hard line between human spaces and wild places. When animals pop up where we don’t expect or want them, we respond with fear, rage, or simple annoyance. It’s no longer an animal. It’s a pest.

At the intersection of science, history, and narrative journalism, Pests is not a simple call to look closer at our urban ecosystem. It’s not a natural history of the animals we hate. Instead, this book is about us. It’s about what calling an animal a pest says about people, how we live, and what we want. It’s a story about human nature, and how we categorize the animals in our midst, including bears and coyotes, sparrows and snakes. Pet or pest? In many cases, it’s entirely a question of perspective.

Bethany Brookshire’s deeply researched and entirely entertaining book will show readers what there is to venerate in vermin, and help them appreciate how these animals have clawed their way to success as we did everything we could to ensure their failure. In the process, we will learn how the pests that annoy us tell us far more about humanity than they do about the animals themselves.

BETHANY BROOKSHIRE is an award-winning science writer who was a 2019-2020 fellow at the MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Sierra, Science News, Science News Explores, and many other outlets, and she’s a host on the podcast Science for the People. She holds a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

LAURA HELMUTH is the Editor in Chief of Scientific American. She has been an editor for The Washington Post, National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, and Science magazines. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication. She serves on the advisory boards of 500 Women Scientists and SciLine, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that connects reporters with scientific experts. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley. She is active on Twitter at @LauraHelmuth.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Washington, United States


USD 0.00 to USD 34.49

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