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UCSB Reads 2018

To the UCSB and Santa Barbara Community,

The UC Santa Barbara Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the selection of the UCSB Reads 2018 book: Lab Girl, by prize-winning paleobiologist Hope Jahren.

Since the program’s start in 2007, UCSB Reads has been bringing the campus and Santa Barbara communities together each year for intellectually-stimulating dialogue about important issues that are raised in a common book.

An advisory committee made up of faculty, staff, students, and community representatives selected Lab Girl for its wide appeal to scientists, humanities scholars, and readers across the disciplines, all of whom will have the opportunity to discuss the book, attend programs and events, and hear from the author.

The award-winning Lab Girl chronicles Jahren’s coming-of-age experience as a female scientist and juxtaposes this with beautifully-rendered meditations on the life of plants. Jahren courageously describes the difficult passages of her life, from her struggles with mental illness to the financial hardships of starting a research lab, while celebrating the joys of scientific discovery and her own deep friendships. The winner of both the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Lab Girl is a compelling memoir that cultivates compassion for and appreciation of the environment.

During the winter and spring quarters, faculty and students will read Lab Girl in classes, and the UCSB Library will sponsor panel discussions, film screenings, exhibitions, and other events to explore the book’s themes. On April 3, 2018, we will welcome Hope Jahren for a free lecture in UCSB’s Campbell Hall, to which you are all invited.

We are grateful for the generous support of our many sponsors. For details about events, sponsors, and more, go to

Thank you for reading, teaching, and learning along with us. #UCSBReads18

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