Ann B. Parson is a science journalist who has written extensively about the environment, medicine, and technology. She is the author of several books, among them: The Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine, which was selected for Library Journal’s Best Books list; Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, a collaboration with Harvard neuroscientist Rudolph Tanzi that reveals the high-stakes world of molecular genetics; Antonio Ferri: Partisan Scientist, a memoir about the revered father of supersonic flight; and The House That John Built, a family history that covers ten generations of the Pickerings in Salem. Her articles have appeared in many publications. She lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Title by Ann B. Parson
The Birds of Dog
An Historical Novel Based on Mostly True Events
Released: November 2023
The Birds of Dog opens in the early days of the Boston Society of Natural History and simmers with remarkable lost stories about America’s emerging fields of science and its first scientists. Catharine Pickering, a curator’s assistant, finds herself increasingly drawn to Nature’s treasures, especially birds, and more and more opposed to the “kill-and-collect” methods of hunters. Her cousin, Charles Pickering, is off serving as chief zoologist for the Navy’s first voyage of discovery to the South Seas, and her outbound letters tell of scientific findings at home and memorable encounters—with John James Audubon, Junius Brutus Booth, Charles Dickens, and other eminent visitors to Boston. When she meets James Cutting, a brilliant inventor whose discovery leads to the world’s first public aquarium, she finds a kindred soul. It’s plain to both that certain new technologies are on a destructive course with Nature—guns, in particular, have strayed far from their original purpose.
The Boston Society of Natural History eventually evolved into Boston’s Museum of Science.