A Series of Fortunate Events
Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You
Sean B. Carroll is one of the most masterful science storytellers of our time. An internationally recognized Evolutionary Biologist and award-winning writer, film producer, and educator, he is a thrilling speaker and renowned scientist. Author of the book A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life and You, Carroll explores the awe-inspiring science behind the power of chance in our lives and the world.
Carroll is the author of numerous groundbreaking books including A Series of Fortunate Events, The Serengeti Rules, and Brave Genius, among others. Several of his books have been adapted to film, including Endless Forms Most Beautiful and The Making of the Fittest which were the basis for a NOVA special broadcast. His tale of Henry Walter Bates’ exploration of the Amazon was the inspiration for the IMAX film Amazon Adventure, and The Serengeti Rules was the basis for a critically-acclaimed theatrical film released in 2019 (broadcast on PBS Nature). In 2016, Carroll received the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science.
Carroll’s pioneering scientific research has centered on the genes that control animal body patterns and play major roles in the evolution of animal diversity. He has received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences, been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the European Molecular Biology Organization, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For his educational efforts, he has received the Stephen Jay Gould Prize for the advancement of the public understanding of evolution, the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, and the Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Biology Teachers. Carroll is currently Vice President for Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the largest private supporter of science education activities in the United State, Head of HHMI’s Tangled Bank Studios, and Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland.
Why is the planet the way it is? How did we get here? Does everything happen for a reason or are some things left to chance? Philosophers and theologians have pondered these questions for a millennia, but were it not for the most improbable of accidents 66 million years ago, there would be no philosophers or theologians. And if not for a similarly improbable collision—of one unique sperm with one unique egg, you would not be here. Drawing inspiration from Monty Python and other great thinkers, Sean B. Carroll tells the stories of the mother of all accidents, the accident of all mothers, and much more in an irresistible, entertaining and awe-inspiring tale of the surprising power of chance in our lives and the world.