Join us in conversation with authors who explore the intersection of arts, science, and society through the lens of their life experiences and family histories. An audience Q&A follows each event.

Eric Garen

Older gentleman in grey suit
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 5 p.m. PT

Educator and astrophotographer Eric Garen combines his love of language and scientific training into Poems of the Planets: Solar System Science in Verse and Prose. Originally written with the middle school student in mind, the book invites readers of all ages to delight in the hidden wonders of our solar system, from the giant volcanoes on Venus’ moons to the icy rings of Saturn and everything in-between. Garen will be joined by Katherine de Kleer, science advisor and assistant professor of planetary science and astronomy at Caltech.

Carolyn Campbell

btw of a middle aged blonde woman with glasses smiling
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 5 p.m. PT

Author and photographer Carolyn Campbell, whose book City of Immortals: Pére-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris (2019, Goff Books) celebrates the novelty and eccentricity of the famous resting place, engages Caltech history professor Jed Buchwald in a spirited discussion as he takes on the persona of three scientists: astronomer Jérôme Lalande; mathematician, physicist, and historian Joseph Fourier; and decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphics Jean-François Champollion. Together, Campbell and Buchwald bring to life these luminaries and uncover the controversies surrounding their provocative debates about science, politics, and religion; Napoleon's pivotal role in their cultural and intellectual adventures; and the significance of their discoveries that unfolded against the background of the French Revolution and the Restoration.

Vroman's Bookstore logo

Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena is a proud partner of our Behind the Book series. Help preserve a Pasadena treasure and shop local!

Watch Past Events

Cindy Weinstein

woman in green top with glasses and short cropped hair
Thursday, September 9, at 5 p.m. PST

Cindy Weinstein is the author of Finding the Right Words: A Story of Literature, Grief, and the Brain. She is the Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of English and Vice Provost at Caltech, and serves as the Institute's Chief Diversity Officer. In collaboration with noted neurologist Dr. Bruce L. Miller, Weinstein combines personal memoir, literature, and the science and history of brain health into a unique, educational, and meditative work. Get Behind the Book with Cindy Weinstein and Bruce Miller as they discuss Finding the Right Words. Caltech Professor Catherine Jurca leads the conversation, which will be followed by an audience Q&A.

Indre Viskontas

Indre Viskontas
Monday, April 12, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. PDT

Author of How Music Makes Us Better

Indre Viskontas combines a passion for music with scientific curiosity. Professor of Sciences and Humanities at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco, she is also a working opera singer and serves as the Creative Director of Pasadena Opera.

Blake Hill-Saya

Blake Hill-Saya
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Author of Aaron McDuffie Moore: An African American Physician, Educator, and Founder of Durham's Black Wall Street

Blake Hill-Saya is a classical musician and creative writer living in Los Angeles. Born the biracial child of two literature professors, her love affair with books began at age four when her father found her reading one to herself out loud and upside down. She is the CEO of Tenacity Communications in Los Angeles.