Science Diction: The Secret Scientific Stories Of Words w/ Science Friday

Friday April 12: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Event Admission

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

What do tuberculosus, umami, and robots have in common? They’re all words that have secret scientific origins. We’ve uncovered these tales in Science Diction, a series that traces the backstories of the words and phrases we use every day. Now, just in time for National Library Week, come huddle in the Strand Book Store Rare Book Room with Science Friday as we reveal and celebrate all the ways science and language intersect.

The evening will be filled with live music from Brooklyn-based composer Darren Solomon, a special screening of a short science documentary, demonstrations, and live interviews. Science Friday’s Johanna Mayer will discuss all things snack science with food historian Nadia Berenstein, and lexicographer Jane Solomon will show us how a tiny picture becomes an emoji. Plus, get a sneak peek of Solomon’s new book The Dictionary of Difficult Words, available for pre-order at the event. You’ll even get a chance to participate, too!

If you are an etymology enthusiast or a loyal logophile—or if you just love to seek out stories—this wordy, nerdy event will be one for the books.


Nadia Berenstein is a historian and journalist who writes about food, science, technology, and culture. Her work has appeared in MUNCHIES, New Food Economy, Serious Eats, Lucky Peach, and Popular Science. She has been a guest on Science Friday, and was an advisor for the Museum of Food and Drink. She is currently at work on her book, Flavor: An Artificial History. Follow her on Twitter @thebirdisgone.

Jane Solomon is a lexicographer based in Oakland, California. She’s a contributor to and a member of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, the group that decides new emojis for our devices. She also works on an emoji sky generator and runs @emojiinfluencer, an Instagram account profiling the glamorous life of an influencer who happens to be an emoji. Her children's book The Dictionary of Difficult Words is out spring 2019. Follow her on Twitter @janesolomon.

Darren Solomon is a composer, bassist and keyboard player, based in Brooklyn. He has written the music for hundreds of TV commercials, winning both a Clio and Cannes Gold Lion for best music. His collaborative music website In B Flat 2.0 was featured on CNN and NPR's Weekend Edition, and he records electronic music and remixes under the name Science for Girls. Darren is currently a Visiting Affiliate Artist at SUNY Purchase.