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“Pleased to Meet Me” with author Bill Sullivan

September 5 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


“In equal parts approachable and mind-blowing, Sullivan gives us a whistle-stop tour of the myriad factors that make you who you are. Although it’s easy to believe that we choose our own paths in life, a good deal is navigated by invisibly small forces inside and outside of us.”David Eagleman, PhD, New York Times bestselling author, host of PBS series The Brain

A discussion with Bill Sullivan, author of Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We AreSullivan will be joined in conversation by Monica Metzler of Illinois Science Council. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: From a witty new voice in popular science comes a clever, life-changing look at what makes you you. Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are (National Geographic; On Sale: August 6, 2019) by scientist Bill Sullivan is a deep dive into understanding how genetics, epigenetics, and microbes work with our environment to make us who we are. Sullivan is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology at Indiana University School of Medicine, where he studies infectious disease and genetics. In Pleased to Meet Me, Sullivan artfully weaves popular culture with scientific research to deliver answers to these fundamental questions in a format that is both fascinating and fun to read.

In Pleased to Meet Me, Sullivan describes new research showing how our genes not only dictate our physical traits, but also have a huge influence on our personality and behavior. For example, Sullivan examines provocative studies suggesting that certain genes influence whether someone is a liberal or conservative, violent or timid, lean or obese. It’s no coincidence that DNA testing kits have become so popular, but DNA, as Sullivan shows, is only part of the picture. Truly understanding ourselves requires knowledge of how our environment can modify our DNA through a process called epigenetics. Epigenetics may explain how the behavior of our parents—such as what our mother does during pregnancy, or whether our father was a smoker—can play a wide-ranging role in obesity, depression, anxiety and more.

Author Bill Sullivan


About the Author: Bill Sullivan is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he studies infectious disease and genetics. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and science communicator, Sullivan has been featured in a wide variety of outlets, including CNNScientific AmericanCOSMOS Magazine, Science Fantastic with Dr. Michio Kaku, The Naked Scientists, and The Scientist.


About the Interlocutor: Monica Metzler is Founder and Executive Director of Illinois Science Council (ISC), an independent nonprofit that engages the adult public to increase awareness and appreciation of science and technology. Monica earned her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, an M.A. from Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, and a B.S. from Northwestern University.


September 5
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Illinois Science Council


Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637 United States
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