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Edison and the Eclipse that Enlightened America, with author David Baron (via Zoom)

Wednesday, March 13 -- 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

image of solar eclipse, crescents increasing to cover the sun

With the total solar eclipse of 2024 rapidly approaching, author David Baron shares a pertinent tale from the distant past. In the summer of 1878, a similar eclipse traversed America’s Wild West, darkening the frontier while rousing the ambitions of an entire nation. The event lured to the Rocky Mountains many of the era’s great minds—including Vassar College astronomer Maria Mitchell, who headed an all-female expedition to Denver, and a young Thomas Edison, who after observing the eclipse in Wyoming soon lit the world with his most famous invention. Baron recounts the tale of this historic event in his book American Eclipse, which the Wall Street Journal praised as “a sweeping, compelling portrait of the scientific and social aspirations of Gilded Age Americans.” The book won the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and was shortlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing. The book is now being adapted into a musical by the Tony-nominated composer/lyricist Michael John LaChiusa.

Photo of author David Baron, and book cover of his book, The American Eclipse

David Baron is an author, journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker whose TED Talk about eclipse chasing has been viewed more than two million times. A former science correspondent for NPR, David has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast, Boston Globe, Outside, Scientific American, and other publications. David’s work has earned some of the top honors in journalism, including the Lowell Thomas Award, the Alfred I. duPont Award, the National Academies Communications Award, and, on three occasions, the annual journalism prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His 2003 book, The Beast in the Garden, received the Colorado Book Award.

David recently served as the Baruch S. Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Scientific Innovation at the Library of Congress and is writing a book about the planet Mars. An affiliate of the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, he lives in Boulder.

This event will take place via Zoom.
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Wednesday, March 13
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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