Tag Archives: Feathers

Thor Hanson Wins National Honor

Thor Hanson, author of Feathers.

Thor Hanson, author of The Impenetrable Forest and Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, was recently announced as a Guggenheim Fellow for science writing.

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Thor Hanson, author of Feathers, Wows in Minnesota

Thor Hanson speaks at the Bell Museum of Natural History

Earlier this month, the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center hosted renowned biologist and speaker Dr. Thor Hanson for a talk on Feathers.

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Feathers Author Thor Hanson Tickled By Audience

We recently sat down with Thor Hanson, author of Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, and asked him about his experience at literary events.

BIC: What are some of the “teachable” moments in your latest book, Feathers, that make it work well for a literary events program, especially those for college students?

TH: Feathers works well for literary events because it draws on so many different interests. A discussion of feather colors can start with Aztec tapestries, move on to the fashion industry, touch on the physics of pigments and iridescence, and end up at a Las Vegas show, where the dancers’ costumes attract the eye in the same way as a bird’s plumage. Similarly, the aerodynamics of feathers take you from the evolution of flying dinosaurs straight through the Wright Brothers and on to bio-mimicry, the hottest new trend in engineering. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching about feathers is seeing people’s surprise at the many ways they touch our lives.

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Thor Hanson Charms Audience at Puget Sound Bird Festival

Thor Hanson, author of Feather: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, was at an event in Edmonds Park Washington, that was arranged by Books In Comon. He was the keynote speaker at the Puget Sound Bird Festival, where he delighted more than 100 participants. Feathers, which is a fascinating and thought-provoking study of the unique history behind the evolution of feathers (they date back more than 150 million years!) has won numerous awards and was described by the New York Times as “gracious, funny, persuasive, and wide ranging.” Thor Hanson’s style as a presenter is just as compelling. “We loved Thor’s presentation,” said the Environmental Education Coordinator for the City of Edmonds Park. “He is so engaging and entertaining. He had people laughing all the way through, and there was a good mix of science and amusing anecdotes for our audience. There was a very lively Q&A and many people stayed to talk with Thor after the program.”

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Thor Hanson Talks Feathers in New York

Thor Hanson at the AMNH

Biologist and author Thor Hanson visited the American Museum of Natural History last week to accept his John Burroughs Medal award.

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Thor Hanson Accepts John Burroughs Medal for “Feathers”

Thor Hanson, author of Feathers.

This April, author and biologist Thor Hanson became the first Northwest author to win the John Burroughs medal for excellence in nature writing.

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Thor Hanson’s “Feathers” Wins John Burroughs Medal

Feathers, by Thor Hanson

The John Burroughs Association has awarded its 2013 John Burroughs Medal award to Dr. Thor Hanson for Feathers. The medal celebrates excellence in natural history writing, and has previously been awarded to Robert Michael Pyle (for Wintergreen), and Barry Lopez.

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Thor Hanson’s “Feathers” in New Zealand

Thor Hanson

Simon Morton of Radio New Zealand hosted Thor Hanson, author of Feathers, for a talk on science, feathers, and biology. Catch it here.

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