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Dr. Lynn Ingram in conversation with Dr. Tim Bradley

June 25th, 2014

Lynn Ingram: The West Without Water

Professor Lynn Ingram
The West Without Water

Perhaps none of us can imagine the West without water, but Gov. Jerry Brown declared that our state is in a drought emergency and the issue is becoming hard to ignore. To address this critical issue, we invited Professor Lynn Ingram of UC Berkeley to speak about her book The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and other Climactic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow. Dr. Ingram will be joined by Tim Bradley, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine.

About Dr. Lynn Ingram
Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, Dr. Ingram earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University. An expert on paleoclimatology, Ingram oversees the Laboratory for Environmental and Sedimentary Isotope Geochemistry (LESIG) at UC Berkeley. “The goal of my research is to assess how climates and environments have changed over the past several thousand years. These environments include estuaries, lakes, coasts, and coral reefs.” Dr. Ingram studies the history of climate change in California using sediment cores from lakes and estuaries, including San Francisco Bay. Dr. Ingram is a Fellow of the California Academy of Science, and is a Senior Fulbright recipient. She is the author of more than sixty published scientific articles on past climate change in California, the West, and other regions across the Pacific.

About Dr. Tim Bradley
Dr. Tim Bradley is the Director of the Salton Sea Initiative and a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the School of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine.

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Graeme Simsion

June 25th, 2014

Graeme Simsion: The Rosie Project

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

About the author

Graeme Simsion worked as a computer operator, programmer and database specialist before founding a consulting business in 1982. By the time he sold Simsion Bowles & Associates in 1999, it had grown to some seventy staff in three cities. Graeme had built an international reputation in data management and written the standard text on data modeling. Until the success of The Rosie Project enabled him to concentrate on his writing, he continued to deliver seminars around the world.

Graeme is a founder of Pinot Now, a wine importer and distributor and Roy’s Antiques in Melbourne. He recently resigned from his position as a Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne University. He is married to Anne, a professor of psychiatry who writes erotic fiction. They have two children.

In 2007, Graeme completed his PhD in information systems and enrolled in the professional screenwriting course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has made a number of short films and his screenplay, The Rosie Project, won the Australian Writers Guild / Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010. While waiting for The Rosie Project to be produced, he turned it into a novel which in June 2012 won the Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished fiction manuscript.

Readers of The Rosie Project will know that Graeme Simsion has a first-class sense of humour. At professional conferences he has given addresses from on top of a ladder, dressed as a duck, and he once engaged a group of spellbound chartered accountants in community singing. Graeme Simsion won second prize in the 2013 Age short-story award for his account of a runner’s shattering experience in a marathon.

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Frank Bruni

March 31st, 2014

Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 2011, joined the newspaper in 1995. During his years at The Times, he has worn a wide variety of hats, including chief restaurant critic (2004–2009) and Rome bureau chief (2002–2004).

He has also written two New York Times best sellers: a memoir, Born Round, and Ambling into History, a chronicle of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency. That same year, Harper Perennial reissued, in paperback, A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, of which he was a co-author.

Bruni’s restaurant-related articles for The New York Times and elsewhere have appeared in five consecutive editions of Best Food Writing in America. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for his work at the Detroit Free Press.  

Bruni will speak about current issues making the headlines.

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Mona Simpson

March 31st, 2014

Mona Simpson: Casebook

Mona Simpson will talk about her new novel Casebook to be released in April 2014 (Knopf).
 
Publishers’ Weekly says, "this is a story about a son’s love for his mother, and Simpson’s portrayal of utter loyalty is infectious." From the acclaimed and award-winning author: a beguiling new novel about an eavesdropping boy working to discover the obscure mysteries of his unraveling family. He uncovers instead what he least wants to know: the workings of his parents' private lives. And even then he can't stop snooping. 
 
Mona Simpson's novels include My Hollywood, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here.  Her books have won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize, the Whiting Writer's Award and placed as finalist for the PEN/FAULKNER award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and a Lila Wallace Prize. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and letters. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harpers, The Atlantic, McSweeney's and The Paris Review. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she lives in Santa Monica, California. Her new novel, Casebook, is on sale from Knopf in April.

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Peggy Hesketh

November 14th, 2013

Peggy Hesketh in conversation with Gordon McAlpine

Peggy Hesketh: Telling the Bees

Peggy Hesketh's short story "A Madness of Two" was selected by Elizabeth George for inclusion in her anthology Two of the Deadliest. A long-time journalist, Peggy teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine. Telling the Bees is her first novel. Spanning the arc of the twentieth century, set in the transforming landscape of Southern California, Telling the Bees is a beautifully imagined novel about the far-reaching consequences of words left unspoken, the persistence of regret, and the power of truth both to wound and to heal.

Ms. Hesketh will be interviewed by author Gordon McAlpine, whose most recent novel Hammett Unwritten is receiving high marks here and abroad.


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Jonathan Kirsch

September 21st, 2013

Jonathan Kirsch: The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan

Jonathan Kirsch will speak about his latest book, The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan.

The New Yorker (Aug 5, 2013 issue) noted Kirsch’s new biography about Grynszpan, a 17 year old Jewish refugee in Paris who shot and killed a German diplomat in 1938. Goebbels cited the shooting as a justification for Kristallnacht (a series of coordinated attacks on Jews in Nazi Germany known as the Night of Broken Glass).

Jonathan Kirsch is the author of thirteen books, including eight books of history and biography, and two novels – all spending time on the bestseller lists. He has contributed book reviews to the Los Angeles Times for more than 40 years and is a guest commentator on NPR affiliates KCRW and KPCC.


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Lauren Weisberger

June 30th, 2013

Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Weisberger’s three other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, and Chasing Harry Winston were all New York Times bestsellers. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children. www.LaurenWeisberger.com

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett is host of Writers on Writing on KUCI-FM and author of Pen on Fire.  She hosts the Pen on Fire Speaker Series in Corona del Mar. www.penonfire.com

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Barry Ritholtz

May 14th, 2013

Barry Ritholtz is an American author, newspaper columnist, blogger, equities analyst, CEO of Fusion IQ and guest commentator on Bloomberg Television. He is also a former contributor to CNBC and TheStreet.com. He is one of the few strategists who saw the housing implosion and derivatives disaster far in advance. Ritholtz is the author of Bailout Nation.

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Adam Gopnik

March 11th, 2013

Adam Gopnik might be the ultimate New Yorker. He has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986 and became its art critic in 1987. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction and humor pieces, book reviews, profiles, reporting pieces, and more than a hundred stories for “The Talk of the Town” and “Comment.” His new book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food is a beguiling tour of the morals and manners of our present food mania, in search of eating’s deeper truths.

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Dr. Hans Keirstead

March 2nd, 2013

An internationally known stem cell expert, Hans Keirstead has pioneered a number of efforts in the field. He led his team of researchers to successfully develop a stem cell-based treatment for paralyzed rats. This treatment marked the first such stem cell-based clinical trial ever approved by a regulatory body, worldwide. Dr. Keirstead also helped develop a therapy for the treatment of ulcerative collitis and rheumatoid arthritis, that has successfully met primary endpoints in Phase II clinical trials. He developed a stem cell-based therapy for the motor neuron diseases ALS and spinal muscular atrophy that will soon enter clinical testing, and made headlines for creating a 3D retina derived from stem cells for the treatment of retinal diseases. More recently, he has taken on a stem cell-based project for late stage cancers, a technology that has met primary endpoints in Phase II clinical trials.

The Canadian-born neuroscientist received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His Ph.D. thesis formed the basis of several worldwide patents, the formation of a company, and constituted the first demonstration of functional regeneration of the injured adult spinal cord. For his achievements he received the Cameron Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in Canada.

Dr. Keirstead then moved to Cambridge England, where he conducted 4 years of Post-Doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, with both Canadian and British Fellowships. He received the distinct honor of election to two senior academic posts, Fellow of the Governing Body of Downing College, and Senate Member of the University of Cambridge, and was the youngest member to have been elected to those positions.

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