2 pm | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19
Join the Peregrine Book Company and co-sponsor, the Natural History Institute for a reading with author and entomologist Elizabeth Bernays. Elizabeth will read from her new book, Six Legs Walking: Notes from an Entomological Life.
Proudly Co-sponsored by:
About the Book
Like the painted lady butterflies that fascinated her as a child in Queensland, Australia, entomologist Elizabeth Bernays has lived a migratory adventure, following her scientific curiosity around the world before landing at the University of Arizona. In Six Legs Walking: Notes from an Entomological Life, Bernays takes us along on her evolution from backward child to accomplished biologist as she explores scholarship, culture, and love, all while immersed in the wonders of some of the smallest creatures on earth.
Six Legs Walking is the inspiring story of one woman's lifelong love affair with science.
Praise for Six Legs Walking
"Elizabeth Bernays has written a beautiful memoir. Her sense of amazement at nature and boundless curiosity make this account of the attention, inventiveness, global spirit, and fun of a life in science shine. Insects, under her devoted scrutiny, prove to be spellbinding theater—“a performance of great skill.” This book offers a window into how and why to care about the smallest among us."
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit
"From her childhood in Australia and schooling in England to the wilds of Hungary, India, and Africa, Elizabeth Bernays asks readers to become her entomological lab assistant, to suffer the tropical heat and grime and army ant bites of a true field researcher. Six Legs Walking is a fascinating, beautifully descriptive, and lyrical narrative that captures the essence of some strange agricultural pests and the exotic places where they dwell."
—Ken Lamberton, author of Wilderness and Razor Wire and Chasing Arizona
"Elizabeth Bernays’s memoir illustrates what drives a life in science—persistent curiosity and a healthy dose of fearlessness. These serve her well in the face of obstacles encountered as she makes her way to success as a rare female researcher. Most enjoyable are her clear-sighted observations and original thoughts about living things and about the connections between insects and people she meets along the way."
—Nancy A. Moran, evolutionary biologist, 1997 MacArthur Fellow
"I very much enjoyed reading these engagingly written memoirs of a great naturalist and superb entomologist. Her deep love for nature, the acute commit- ment to her pioneering research, and her warm sense for the people around her shine through on every page."
—Bert Hölldobler, Pulitzer Prize–winning coauthor of The Ants
"Elizabeth Bernays transforms the structure and function of grasshopper jaws into poetry, metamorphoses hours of insect observations into applecart-upsetting scientific directions, and shares her life with passion and humility. It is an honor to view the marvel of insects through her creative magnifying lens."
—Marla Spivak, entomologist, 2010 MacArthur Fellow
"Deftly, Bernays unravels the process of scientific inquiry, mindful of the capricious influences of gender, culture, and funding, but without losing sight of its joy. Six Legs Walking is the kind of book that will make you look at a blade of grass or a cactus pad with new eyes, searching for the “small wonders” that abound within its pages."
— Melissa L. Sevigny, author of Mythical River and Under Desert Skies
About the Author
Elizabeth Bernays grew up in Australia, then worked as a British government scientist before becoming a professor at the University of California Berkeley. She holds a PhD in entomology from the University of London and is Regents’ Professor Emerita at the University of Arizona.