Inventing Us: How Inventions Shaped Humanity

Lincoln’s funereal train car, as discussed in episode. Credit: Alamy

Materials scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez talks about her latest book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another.

This is Scientific American’s Science Talk. I’m Steve Mirsky. On this episode:


That’s Ainissa Ramirez. She’s a materials scientist with a doctorate from Stanford and a science writer. And she’s the author of the 2020 book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. The book has recently been named one of Smithsonian Magazine’s Ten Best Science Books of 2020, an Amazon Best Science Books of 2020, and, even though it’s written for adults, a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru 2021 Young Adult Science Book Award. I called her at her home in New Haven, Connecticut.   

RAMIREZ SEGMENT (full transcript to come)

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Ainissa G. Ramirez

    Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D., is a scientist and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She is the author of The Alchemy of Us (The MIT Press).

    Steve Mirsky

    Steve Mirsky was the winner of a Twist contest in 1962, for which he received three crayons and three pieces of construction paper. It remains his most prestigious award.

    Credit: Nick Higgins

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