Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series: M.R. O'Connor

Published on March 03, 2022

The Dr. Bruce MacLaren Chautauqua Lecture Series resumes Tuesday, March 8, 2022 when M.R. O’Connor, investigative reporter and book author, delivers a presentation entitled, “The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World.” 

O’Connor’s address will be streamed via YouTube at 7:30 p.m.: https://youtu.be/brrGT5kIhqY

A graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, O’Connor writes about the politics and ethics of science, technology and conservation. She is the author of two acclaimed books about the cutting edges of contemporary scientific research, with a third on the way. 

Her first book, Resurrection Science, Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things, was one of Library Journal and Amazon’s Best Books of the year. Her second book, Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World, is an exploration of navigation traditions, neuroscience and the diversity of human relationships to space, time and memory. 

She is currently writing a book called Ignition, which addresses fire ecology and prescribed burning, for which she became certified as a wildland firefighter.

O’Connor’s work has appeared online in The Atavist, Slate, Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, Nautilus, UnDark and Harper’s. A pair of recent essays for The New Yorker include “A Day in the Life of a Tree” and “Dirt Road America,” a feature piece about Sam Correro, who has spent decades stitching together maps of continuous pathways of dirt roads across the United States. 

She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with the screenwriter Bryan Parker and their two sons. 

The Chautauqua Lecture Series is sponsored by the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; the Department of Psychology; the School of Communication and the Honors Program.