Unveiling the Past, Unearthing the Future: The Saga of Science with Ann Parson

Apr 24, 2024 | aging, books, culture, Health, politics, seniors, technology

The Not Old Better Show, Inside Science Interview Series

Welcome, discerning listeners, birders, bird watchers to a new chapter of the Not Old Better Show Science Interview Series on radio and podcast. Today, we journey through the pages of history into the heart of America’s scientific awakening with our esteemed guest, science writer Ann B. Parson, author of “The Birds of Dog.” This historical fiction novel, a tapestry woven with threads of fact and fiction, delves into the rich and often overlooked narratives of America’s earliest scientific minds and their tussle with nature’s untouched wonders

Imagine a time when the clatter of the telegraph and the hiss of steam engines were as novel as smartphones are today. A time when new technologies were hurtling humanity forward, yet paradoxically threatening the very splendors they sought to study. In “The Birds of Dog,” Parson brings this vibrant era to life through the eyes of Catharine Pickering, a fictional curator’s assistant at the Boston Society of Natural History, and her cousin Charles, a true historical figure and a pioneer of the natural sciences, including amazing letters written in the 1830s!

That, of course, is our guest today science writer Ann Parson, reading from her new book, The Birds of Dog.” In our conversation today with Ann Parson, we’ll explore the pivotal choices behind Parson’s shift from nonfiction to the world of historical fiction, allowing her to color within and beyond the lines of history’s canvas. We’ll discuss the interplay of hunting, the advent of wildlife conservation, and the rise of technologies that both propelled science and imperiled its subjects.

But what of the characters that dance across these pages? From John James Audubon to Charles Dickens, Henry Thoreau to John Wilkes Booth’s father, Parson stitches these historical giants into the fabric of her narrative, breathing life into the past with her meticulous research and vibrant storytelling.
So prepare to be whisked away to a time of curiosity cabinets and scientific marvels, where the world was ripe for discovery and every new finding was a treasure. This is “The Birds of Dog,” a story of passion, progress, and the perpetual dance between humanity’s reach for knowledge and the natural world’s enigmatic beauty. Join us for this expedition through time, where science and story meet, right here on the  Not Old Better Show Science Interview Series on radio and podcast.

My thanks to  science writer author Ann B. Parson who’s written the new book “The Birds of Dog,”   My thanks to you, our wonderful audience here on radio and podcast.  My thanks to Executive Producer, Sam Heninger.  Please be well, be safe, and Let’s Talk About Better™. The Not Old Better Show, Art of Living Interview Series  on radio and podcast. Thanks, everybody, and we’ll see you next week.