Cirrus Logic STEM Track at the 2019 Texas Book Fest

For the latest conversations about the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, check out the Cirrus Logic STEM Track at this year’s Texas Book Festival. The Cirrus Logic track is your curated guide to big discussions about climate change, internet culture, space flight, psychology at the voting polls, and more.

Saturday, October 26

Forget Astronauts, Introducing The AstroNuts!
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Kirkus Reviews Tent 

Uh-oh! Looks like humans have no place to go after Earth. Worry not! The AstroNuts are here! Hybridized to find other planets, AstroWolf, LaserShark, SmartHawk, and StinkBug are here to find another planet for humans to live. Join us as this major new series by kid lit legend Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steve Weinberg launches us into outer space adventure!
Authors: Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg

In The Hands of Our Hubris: Human Behavior in the Face of Climate Change 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, C-Span2/BookTV Tent

Building mansions up to the edges of coastlines, disrupting the deserts for oil; short-term human goals consistently come up against the obvious and ongoing effects of climate change. In their new books, bestselling author and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams (Erosion), Pulitzer Prize-winner Gilbert Gaul (The Geography of Risk), and journalist Nathaniel Rich (Lost Earth) examine human hubris in the face of our environment’s increasingly drastic cries for help–and its threats if our behavior doesn’t change.
Author(s): Gilbert Gaul, Terry Tempest Williams, Nathaniel Rich
Moderator: Juli Berwald

Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Psychology to Make the Most of Your Professional Life

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM, Capitol Extension Room 2.036

If you’re in a job interview, how should you think about the mindset of the interviewer? If you’ve just been promoted, how do you handle the tensions of managing former peers? Join professor, author, and popular radio host Art Markman as he shares the essential elements of a successful career and gets inside our heads, helping us to succeed through a better understanding of ourselves and those around us.
Author: Art Markman
Moderator: Rebecca McInroy

Creative Calculations: At The Intersection of Math and Literature

1:45 PM – 2:30 PM, Capitol Extension Room 2.012

New works of fiction and nonfiction plumb the intersection of analytics and creativity, giving mathematics the spotlight as a fascinating lens on character and history. Catherine Chung (The Tenth Muse) and Karen Olsson (The Weil Conjectures) share their own experiences studying high-level mathematics and how the logic of numbers inspired their new books.
Author: Karen Olsson, Catherine Chung
Moderator: Juli Berwald

The High Drama — and Harrowing Hubris — of Big Tech

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM, C-Span2/BookTV Tent

Big pay-offs, epic power struggles and spiraling mega-companies make for dramatic stories of major wins and harrowing hubris in Silicon Valley. In new page-turning accounts, Mike Issac (Superpumped: The Battle to Save Uber) and Ben Mezrich (Bitcoin Billionaires) dive into the headline-making worlds of Bitcoin and Uber, exploring the characters and companies behind big tech windfalls and executive rock bottoms with all of the dazzle, defeat, and indefatigable spirit of the people innovating our future.
Author(s): Mike Isaac, Ben Mezrich
Moderator: Suzi Sosa


Sunday, October 27

Predisposed to Vote: The Evolutionary Science of Our Political Divide

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Capitol Extension Room 2.016

Are we evolutionarily predispositioned for the politics we believe in? Psychologist Hector A. Garcia thinks so. In his new book, he breaks down how the most complex political processes can be influenced by our basic instincts and ancestral histories. A new lens on politics and how we evaluate the self, Garcia offers insight into how we might better understand ourselves and people on the other side of the aisle. 
Author: Hector A. Garcia
Moderator: Jennifer Stayton

Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy

Capitol Extension Room 2.012, 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM

Michael Skelly began working on wind energy in 2000, when many considered the industry a joke. Since then, he has created the second largest wind power company in the country and sold it for $2 billion. Journalist Russell Gold (Superpower) wrote the story of this pioneer of renewable energy and sits down with Skelly today to discuss his incredible story and the future of renewable energy in America. 
Authors: Russell Gold, Michael Skelly
Moderator: Shalini Ramanathan

True Stories That Inspire

Next Chapter Tent, 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Do you love fun facts? Is social studies your favorite subject? Do you hope for a history lesson? Or do you just really like learning about awesome people from the past? We’ve got two stories of amazing women from history who took on the challenge of flight and engineering to change the world. Learn how the soared through the clouds and programmed the very first computers! 
Author(s): Steve Sheinken, Tami Lewis Brown, Debbie Loren Dunn
Moderator: Diane Hernandez

Vaccines Did Not Cause My Daughter’s Autism

Capitol Extension Room 2.012, 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM 

Troubled by the decades-long rise of the influential anti-vaccine community and their narrative around childhood vaccines and autism, Houston pediatrician Peter J. Hotez now presents evidence for the genetic basis of autism. He illustrates how the neurodevelopmental pathways of autism are under way before birth, asserting that vaccines definitely do not cause autism—and did not cause his own daughter’s autism. 
Author: Peter Hotez
Moderator: Jennifer Stayton

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Capitol Auditorium, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Award-winning historian and bestselling author Douglas Brinkley takes us to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind: America’s race to the moon. Bringing together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, this is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit.
Author: Douglas Brinkley

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