Book Talk and Walk VI

Sunday, March 4, 2012 from 2:00-4:00 pm

Book CoverJoin us for a discussion of the book “The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth”, by Richard Conniff at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  After the discussion, we will explore the woods for species during a short walk.  You can read all, part or none of the book to join us.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. No parking fee.  $4.00 activity fee.

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

Book Description

Nature writer Richard Conniff chronicles the obsessions and joys of naturalists who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, fanned out across the globe in pursuit of new species. Conniff takes us back in time—before the words “scientist” or “biologist” even existed—to when a popular fever for the natural world swept through humanity. Beginning in the mid-eighteenth century, amateur naturalists made it their mission to go to the most perilous corners of the planet and bring back astonishing new species. Linnaeus, Darwin, and Wallace dominate most histories of the great age of discovery.  But they owed their success to this network of enthusiasts, who worked mainly for the pleasure of adding “to the power and grace and beauty of the Infinite.”  Among them:  A grave-robbing anatomist who became the model for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a Catholic missionary who held off bandits at gunpoint, and a British ornithologist who lost his left arm by jamming it down the throat of a charging leopard—but happily lived on to play a good game of tennis.