Science + Literature

The Science + Literature program identifies three books annually, steered by a committee of scientific and literary experts, to deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology with a focus on work that highlights the diversity of voices in scientific writing. The selected titles act as a catalyst to create discourse, understanding, and engagement with science for communities across the country. Authors receive a $10,000 prize, are celebrated at an invite-only ceremony in March, and feature in national public programming.

Selections are made at the discretion of the Committee; publishers cannot submit a book for consideration. Eligible books can be in any genre, and have been published in the United States within the last three years.

Science + Literature is made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Science + Literature Summer 2022 Schedule

08jun8:00 pmScience + Literature: Reading the Natural World8:00 pm EDT

23jun7:00 pmScience + Literature: The Gender Disparity7:00 pm EDT 519 Congress Street, Portland, ME

27jul7:00 pmScience + Literature: Investigating Disease and Access7:00 pm EDT 200 Central Park West



The Science + Literature program is made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Radiant Lives of Animals by Linda HoganIn the Field, by Rachel Pastan


ISBN: 9780807047927
Beacon Press

The Radiant Lives of Animals

by Linda Hogan


Linda Hogan’s collection The Radiant Lives of Animals is a brilliant evocation of the infinite ways in which the subjects of nature shape human perception and being. In both verse and prose, Hogan draws on Native ways of seeing the biological, the botanical, the geological, and the cosmological that have long been sidelined or suppressed, offering readers a heartrending glimpse of the beauty of the wild world and the trauma of its destruction.”


Concerned that human lives and the natural world are too often defined by people who are separated from the land and its inhabitants, Indigenous writer and environmentalist Linda Hogan depicts her own intense relationships with animals as an example we all can follow to heal our souls and reconnect with the spirit of the world. In this illuminating collection of essays and poems, lightly sprinkled with elegant drawings, Hogan draws on many Native nations’ ancient stories and spiritual traditions to show us that the soul exists in those delicate places where the natural world extends into human consciousness—in the midst of morning, the grass that grew a little through the night, the first warmth of this morning’s sunlight. Altogether, this beautifully packaged gift is a reverential reminder for us all to witness and appreciate the radiant lives of animals. —in the mist of morning, the grass that grew a little through the night, the first warmth of this morning’s sunlight. Altogether, this beautifully packaged gift is a reverential reminder for all of us to witness and appreciate the radiant lives of animals.

Linda Hogan


Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) is a poet, novelist, essayist, teacher, and activist. Her work illuminates environmental and Indigenous activism, as well as Native spirituality. She was born in Oklahoma and now lives and works in Idledale, Colorado, a town of 252 human souls. Her literary works have earned her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Native Arts and Culture Foundation, and awards including the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas’ Lifetime Achievement Award and the Henry David Thoreau Prize.



In the Field, by Rachel Pastan book cover
ISBN: 9781953002037 Delphinium Books

In the Field

by Rachel Pastan


In vivid, well-crafted prose, Rachel Pastan’s novel In the Field brings us into the professional and private life of a dedicated female geneticist, born in the 1920s, whose challenges and sacrifices illustrate how science, far from being impersonal, is practiced by people—how the pursuit of knowledge is shaped by the social norms and preconceptions that limit our behavior as individuals, and delay the acceptance of new ideas by the scientific community.”


In 1923, having persuaded her resistant mother to send her to college, Kate Croft falls in love with science. Painfully rebuffed by a girl she longs for, and in flight from her own confusing sexuality, Kate finds refuge in the calm rationality of biology: its vision of a deeply interconnected world, and the promise that the new field of genetics can explain the way people are.

But science, too, turns out to be marred by human weakness. Despite her hard work and extraordinary gifts, Kate struggles, facing discrimination, competition, and scientific theft. At the same time, a love affair is threatened by Kate’s obsession with figuring out the meaning of the puzzling changes she sees in her experiments. The novel explores what it takes to triumph in the ruthless world of mid-20th-century genetics, following Kate as she decides what she is—and is not—willing to sacrifice to succeed.

Rachel Pastan author photo
Rachel Pastan (Photo credit: Andy Shelter)


Rachel Pastan is the author of four novels, most recently In the Field. Her previous novel, Alena, was named an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. The daughter of a molecular geneticist and a poet, she has worked as editor-at-large at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and taught fiction writing at the Bennington Writing Seminars, Swarthmore College, and elsewhere.


Dr. Morgan Halane

Lydia Millet (Chair)

Dr. Safiya U. Noble

Margot Lee Shetterly

Aaron Yazzie

Faculty Name

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