Originally broadcast at 10:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer and journalist Elizabeth Kolbert has traveled all over the world to get to the heart of the debate over global warming, and the communities most affected by it. Two of her books — The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change — both started out as articles in The New Yorker, where she has been a staff writer since 1999. Her latest book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, was published in February 2021, and will frame her joint Chautauqua Lecture Series and Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC) presentation as part of a week on “New Frontiers: Exploring Today’s Unknowns.”
Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year, and is no. 1 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of all time. The winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, the book was always a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards in 2014. Numerous awards for her work include, but are not limited to, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award, the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category, a Lannan Writing Fellowship, the prestigious Heinz Award (which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment), a National Magazine Award in Reviews and Criticism, the Sierra Club’s David R. Brower Award, and the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union, the Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square. In March 2021 she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
This program is made possible by The Louise Shaw Van Kirk Dill Fund and the Louise Roblee McCarthy Memorial Lectureship.
Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times. She literature at Yale University, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Universität Hamburg, in Germany.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.