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LATFOB: Science writer K.C. Cole

April 14, 2010 |  7:10 am

Somethingincrediblywonderfu

As a preview for the L.A. Times Festival of Books, coming April 24-25, Jacket Copy is talking to some of the authors you can see there. Science writer K.C. Cole -- formerly of the L.A. Times, now a professor at USC -- answered my questions via e-mail. Ask Cole questions about her book "Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up" or about how the universe works at her panel "Science: The Universe Revealed," at 1:30 p.m. on April 24.

Jacket Copy: What do you plan to see or do at the festival this year?

K.C. Cole:
Visit bookstore booths ... especially Skylight!

JC: Frank Oppenheimer, the subject of your book  "Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens," once said of teaching, "If I can succeed in making understanding seem like fun, then I believe that the student will want to understand many things, that is, he will become curious." Do you think that this could also apply to science writing?

KCC:
Absolutely ... once people realize that learning about nature is just one "oh wow!" moment after another, they get hooked; it makes you feel more confident in your abilities to understand just about anything, and delight even more in everything from snails to stars.
 
JC: Does Los Angeles have anything that compares to the Exploratorium that Oppenheimer founded in San Francisco?

KCC: Yes, indeed. Categorically Not! -- which is an art/science/politics/whatnot series of events at Santa Monica Art Studios. It's a direct outgrowth of the Exploratorium.

JC: What are you currently reading?

KCC:
Marcelo Gleiser's "A Tear in the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe" and Michael Gazzaniga's "Human: The Science Behind What Makes Your Brain Unique."

JC: Do you have a favorite book or movie about Los Angeles?

KCC:
Steve Martin's "L.A. Story," of course. Oh, and the TV series "Six Feet Under."

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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