Michael Pollan, environmentalist and best-selling author, will present “Out of the Garden” at the 2017 Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture April 27 at 5 p.m. in Kennedy Hall’s Call Alumni Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed on CornellCast.
For a quarter-century, Pollan has written about the spaces where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of five New York Times best-sellers: “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” and “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.”
In his recent Netflix documentary based on his book “Cooked,” Pollan explores the primal need to cook – through the lenses of fire, water, air and earth – as he surveys the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us.
He has written about the environment, food safety, health and obesity, meat, plants, seeds and sustainable agricultural practices. Pollan connected climate change to modern farming in “A Secret Weapon to Fight Climate Change: Dirt.”
Pollan grew up on Long Island and earned a bachelor’s degree from Bennington College and a master’s degree from Columbia University. In 2003, he was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism.
The Jill and Ken Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture – hosted by the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future – brings eminent scholars, scientists, newsmakers and opinion leaders to Cornell to address environmental issues. The lecture series was established in 1999 and it recognizes interdisciplinary scholarship on the frontier of scientific inquiry.
Last year, the series brought Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author Sheryl WuDunn; in 2015, the series featured actor and environmental activist Ted Danson. Other noted lecturers include environmentalist Bill McKibben and Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and former director-general of the World Health Organization.