In his new book, “Surprise Encounters with Artists and Scientists, Whales and Other Living Things,” Princeton author Scott McVay offers 100-plus vignettes of his encounters with some of the 20th century’s greatest artistic and scientific minds.
On Sunday, March 6, he will discuss selected stories from the book at the Mountain Lakes House in Princeton. The free event begins at 2 p.m. and is hosted by the Friends of Princeton Open Space.
For this event, McVay has chosen to focus on stories of naturalists who, he says, have broadened and deepened our knowledge of the natural world and the fascinating creatures that inhabit it. In telling tales of his provocative encounters with biologist E.O. Wilson, birder Pete Dunne, and ornithologist Ted Parker, McVay says that he “seeks to suggest a larger context for the important ongoing work of the Friends of Princeton Open Space.” He’ll also tell tales of natural wonders such as the fidelity of bottlenose dolphins and a parrot that knows — and uses conversationally — more than 2,000 English words.
Drawing on his experience as the founding executive director of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, as well as the 16th president of the Chautauqua Institution, McVay’s stories also convey the challenge of placing funds strategically in education, the arts, critical issues, and the welfare of animals.
The Mountain Lakes House is located at 57 Mountain Avenue in Princeton. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.