Monday, August 31, 2015

Why women rule, and other hot science topics at the Decatur Book Festival

Illustration: Don Morris

Women can forget about equality with men, warns Emory anthropologist Mel Konner.

It’s even better than that. Why should women embrace mere equality when their movement is toward superiority? It is maleness that has Konner worried in his latest book, “Women After All: Sex, Evolution and the End of Male Supremacy,” which looks at the history and future of gender and power dynamics.

Konner will be one of the featured authors in the ever-popular Science track of the Decatur Book Festival this weekend. He’ll take the stage at 3 pm on Saturday, September 5, at the Marriot Conference Center.

The last line of Konner’s book jacket reads: “Provocative and richly informed, ‘Women After All’ is bound to be controversial across the sexes.”

As Konner acknowledges on his personal web site, the first murmurings came about after a short adaptation of the book ran in the Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of angry men responded within a couple of days. His wife, home alone during that period, double-locked the door. Konner’s editor at the Wall Street Journal apologized for failing to instruct him not to read the comments.

For his part, Konner is hiding in plain sight, saying “Clearly, I’ve touched a nerve, and I’m happy about that.”

Konner talks about a future that his grandson will inhabit, a “new world” that “will be better for him because women help run it.”

You can read more about Konner’s book in the latest issue of Emory Magazine.

Another provocative issue at the intersection of science and society is explored in “Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationships with Immunization,” by Emory historian Elena Conis. She will discuss her book at 4:15 pm on Saturday at the Marriott Conference Center.

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