How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi: Collected Quirks of Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math from Nerd Nite (Hardcover)

How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi: Collected Quirks of Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math from Nerd Nite By Dr. Chris Balakrishnan, Matt Wasowski, Kristen Orr (Illustrator) Cover Image

How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi: Collected Quirks of Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math from Nerd Nite (Hardcover)


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In the vein of acclaimed popular-science bestsellers such as Atlas Obscura, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry, The Way Things Work, What If?, and Undeniable, the co-founders of the global science organization Nerd Nite bring readers a collection of wacky, yet fascinating STEM topics.

For 20 years, Nerd Nite has delivered to live audiences around the world, the most interesting, fun, and informative presentations about science, history, the arts, pop culture, you name it. There hasn’t been a rabbit hole that their army of presenters hasn’t been afraid to explore. Finally, after countless requests to bring Nerd Nite to more fans across the globe, co-founders and college pals Matt Wasowski and Chris Balakrishnan are bringing readers the quirky and accessible science content that they crave in book form, focused on STEM and paired with detailed illustrations that make the content pop. The resulting range of topics is quirky and vast, from kinky, spring-loaded spiders to the Webb telescope’s influence on movie special effects.

Hilariously named after Dale Carnegie’s iconic book, How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi features narratives, bursts, and infographics on all things STEM from scientists around the world. Chapters are sure to make you laugh-out-loud, with titles such as "The Science of the Hangover," "What Birds Can Teach Us About the Impending Zombie Apocalypse," and "Lessons from the Oregon Trail."

With fascinating details, facts, and illustrations, combined with Chris and Matt’s incredible connections to organizations such as the Discovery Network and the Smithsonian Institution, How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi is sure to reach joyful STEM enthusiasts of all ages around the world.

About Nerd Nite: Started in 2003, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in 100+ cities worldwide during which folks give 20-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines, while the audience drinks along!

Chris Balakrishnan founded Nerd Nite when he was a graduate student in evolutionary biology at Boston University. Nerd Nite was born of a Boston bar owner’s curiosity about Chris’ ornithological adventures and Chris’ goal of making science more accessible.

Matt Wasowski is a professional curator, programmer, writer, and events producer. He has been the Big Boss of Nerd Nite since 2006. And that’s not even his day job. After spending a few years writing for magazines and weeklies, he led the marketing team of Wimba, the first web conferencing company for higher education. He moved on to work at ReedPOP, where he led the programming of mega-conferences such as BookExpo, BookCon, Star Trek Mission, and New York Comic Con Presents, and now he organizes conferences for SAE International, the association of engineers who build cars and planes of the future. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and an MFA in Non-Fiction Creative Writing from The New School.

Product Details ISBN: 9781250288349
ISBN-10: 1250288347
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English

"How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi feels like the science book we never knew we wrote! It's fun, accessible, and packed full of the kinds of factoids and knowledge that we love to share on our own podcast. Message to all the schools everywhere - get this on your shelves immediately!" — Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant and Josh Clark, Stuff You Should Know podcast

“A sheer delight. Will I now have recurring nightmares of spiny maggots gently prying dead skin from my feet? Maybe. But my waking self now knows this is a GOOD thing. Bravo Avir and company! And bravo maggots!” — Jad Abumrad, Founder and Fromer Co-Host, NPR's RadioLab

"As I can testify from personal experience, Nerd Nite is one of the greatest achievements of the human species."
— Michael Caruso, CEO and Publisher, The New Republic

An enjoyable romp through the back alleys of scientific research, proving that knowledge and fun can easily go together." — Kirkus

"Delightful and eminently readable. This book about the Nerd Nite empire will be an excellent addition to science collections." — Library Journal (starred review)

"What a gift to have all of Nerd Nite's greatest hits collected in one place! How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi is the most fun I've had with a popular science book in a long time. There's a 100% chance that this book will blow your mind and make you laugh, but there's also the distinct possibility that you'll learn something life-changing — or at least how to get rid of that hangover." — Erin Barker, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Story Collider

"The broad range of topics ensures most readers will find something of interest, and the brisk pace will keep them glued to their seats. Playful yet enlightening, this entertains." — Publisher's Weekly