A voyage with Mary Roach

The public is invited to “A Voyage with Mary Roach,” a presentation by Mary Roach, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the HUB-Robeson Auditorium, Penn State University Park. An award-winning science writer and also described by the Washington Post as “America’s funniest science writer," Roach will share entertaining tales of investigating life in space and space on earth.

Roach’s book “Packing for Mars” was selected as the Centre County Reads (CCR) book for 2014. Since 2003, CCR has encouraged county residents of all ages to explore the human condition and community issues by reading and discussing the same book.

The best-selling author of “Bonk,” “Gulp” and “Stiff,”  in “Packing for Mars,” Roach explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. She noted, “Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy . . . Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take?”

To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Roach discovers, it's possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule, Roach takes the reader on a surreal and entertaining trip.

CCR coordinators include the Center for American Literary Studies, Centre County Library and Historical Museum, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Schlow Centre Region Library and the following school districts: State College, Phillipsburg-Osceola, Penns Valley and Bellefonte. Penn State’s University Libraries and Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library have provided additional funding for Roach’s presentation.

Partners for 2014 include AAUW, Barnes & Noble, Discovery Space Museum, Friends of Schlow Centre Region Library, NASA PA Space Grant Consortium, Penn State Astrobiology Research Center and Penn State Lunar Lions.

For more information about the physical access provided, contact Caroline Wermuth at cvw1@psu.edu or 814-863-5472.

Last Updated March 24, 2014