The Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture Series was conceived by the Boler Family Foundation, which underwrites the speaker fees and expenses, as a way to honor a dear family friend. Paul McCarthy was the founder of Captiva Cruises and an engaged and community-focused presence on the islands for years.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024 With Elizabeth Kolbert
Thanks to everyone who joined us!
Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland and visited top scientists to write The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field.
The Sixth Extinction Awards
- 2015 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction
- Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014
- New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year
- No. 1 on The Guardian's list of 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time
- 2019 Chicago Public Library's One Book, One Chicago
- One of Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years
Kolbert is also author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. Her most recent book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, is about humanity’s harmful impact on the environment and ideas to rectify that harm. A national bestseller, it was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, Time, Esquire, Smithsonian Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal. It was also recommended by Barack Obama and Bill Gates.
She is also working on her next book, H Is for Hope: Climate Change from A to Z (Ten Speed Press, March 26, 2024).
Kolbert has received numerous awards and honors including the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category, a Lannan Writing Fellowship, the Heinz Award, a National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category, the Sierra Club’s David R. Brower Award, the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union, the Desmond Wettern Award for Best Journalism, the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism, the Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square. She was the 12th Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters at Bucknell University and was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. Her essays have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. A collection of her work, The Prophet of Love and Other Tales of Power and Deceit, was published in 2004. Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.