Timefulness book coverTimefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, the latest book from Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Sciences and Professor of Geology Marcia Bjornerud, has been long-listed for the PEN America Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious literary awards. Bjornerud is nominated for the PEN/E.O Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing, which honors “a book that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.”

Bjornerud does just that in Timefulness, which reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. As Bjornerud observes, “our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations.” Timefulness presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales.

In her elegant and engaging prose, Bjornerud peppers Timefulness with insights and anecdotes, sharing the deep knowledge and passion for geology she brings to her classrooms with her readers. Timefulness is also an example of the bonds students and faculty forge at Lawrence: Haley Hagerman ’14 provided the illustrations that appear throughout the book.

Timefulness is a delightful and interesting read.”

In addition to the recognition from PEN, Timefulness has also garnered rave reviews. Leading science journal Nature described it as “a trenchant study” and Science writes that “Timefulness is a delightful and interesting read. The author’s cadence and the illustrator’s … figures made me feel as though I was having a glass of wine with a friend who was explaining geologic history while sketching on a napkin.”

Stay tuned! The finalists for the PEN Awards will be announced in January 2019.

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World

Read a Q&A with Marcia Bjornerud about Timefulness.