Author Andrea Wulf Returns to Adkins Arboretum to Discuss Science of the Enlightenment in Chasing Venus

On two days in 1761 and 1769, astronomers across the world cast their eyes to the sky to witness a rare sight: Venus traveling across the face of the sun. The two transits were to become the most significant astronomical events in scientific history, as by recording the path of Venus and comparing results, these men hoped to calculate the dimensions of the solar system—one of the most pressing questions of the Enlightenment.

On Sun., May 20, New York Times Best Selling and award-winning author Andrea Wulf returns to Adkins Arboretum to discuss this extraordinary story as recounted in her newest book, Chasing Venus. Told as a race across the world, Chasing Venus features a cast of some of the most recognizable names in history, including Benjamin Franklin, Mason and Dixon, and Catherine the Great. It is a thrilling adventure story, a tale of personal tragedy and obsession, and an inspiring account of Enlightenment science and man’s quest to understand the universe.

Wulf’s talk begins at noon. Advance registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as seating is limited. The fee is $15 for members, $20 for the general public.

Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in Britain, where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession (longlisted for the 2008 Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the 2010 American Horticultural Society Book Award), as well as Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, and co-author of This Other Eden: Seven Great Gardens and 300 Years of English History. She has written for the New York Times, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and many others. She is a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. Located in historic Easton in Talbot County, the Academy Art Museum provides the knowledge, practice and appreciation of the arts and enhances cultural life on the Eastern Shore by making available to everyone the Museum’s expanding collection, exhibitions and broad spectrum of arts programs.

In photo: Award-winning and New York Times Best Selling author Andrea Wulf will speak on Sun., May 20 at Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely.