Brooke Borel at #UCDavis 6/4 Discussing her New Bed Bug Book “Infested”


Brooke Borel

“Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World”

Thursday June 4, 2015

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

UC Davis Memorial Union – MU II

Host: Jonathan Eisen

Brooke Borel is a science writer who is a Contributing Editor at Popular Science and has written for Slate, Aeon, PBS’s Nova Next, and many other publications and sites.  Her first book has just been published by the University of Chicago Press.  The book is   Infested: How The Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World and it is getting praise from all over the place (see some reviews below). She will be at UC Davis on June 4 to discuss the book and some of the fun, interesting, scary and wonderful things about bed bugs.

Some reviews of the book below:

New York Times Book Review (by Marlene Zuk)

“A book about bedbugs is, by necessity, a book about nearly everything: about travel and adventure, about our ­relationship to nature, about how scientists solve problems, about trust and whether we view strangers as friends or foes. It is a book about what people will do under extreme circumstances, and about environmental politics, and art and mental illness. It is even a book about kinky sex. Borel deftly takes us through this arthropod microcosm of the universe, as she traces the culture and biology of a resurgent scourge.”

Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses

“Our encounters with bed bugs used to be limited to wishes for a good night’s sleep. But now they’re everywhere—in hotels, apartments, and even subways. In her fascinating book Infested,  Borel chronicles the renaissance of this frightful insect and leaves us marveling at their remarkable biology.”

Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA

“In an odyssey that begins with understandable loathing and ends with surprising sympathy, Borel takes us on a smart, subtle, witty journey through the biology and history of the bed bug—an insect that has been our companion for hundreds of millennia, yet one that we barely understand and have no clue how to control. Borel captures the persistence of the bug, the obsessiveness of its foes, and the eagerness of entrepreneurs to turn a quick profit with no thought for the long consequences. It is impossible to read Infested without experiencing fascination, respect—and just maybe, a phantom itch.”

Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy

“Borel has done the seemingly impossible: written an absolute page-turner of a book about bed bugs. Infested is as engaging as it is erudite, as fun as it is informative. This is popular science writing at its best.”

Dan Vergano, National Geographic

“A fun, wild romp through the wily world of bed bugs and the folks hunting them down. Borel travels from Brooklyn bedposts to Bohemian benches on the trail of this burgeoning pest, itching for the reader as she goes. Infested unveils the secrets of these frankly weird bloodsuckers, right down to their unlikely sex lives, and introduces readers to the obsessives looking to stop their march into your own bed. A terrific science book.”

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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