In the vein of acclaimed popular-science bestsellers such as Atlas Obscura, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry, The Way Things Work, What If?, and Undeniable, the co-founders of the global science organization Nerd Nite bring readers a collection of wacky, yet fascinating STEM topics.
For 20 years, Nerd Nite has delivered to live audiences around the world, the most interesting, fun, and informative presentations about science, history, the arts, pop culture, you name it. There hasn’t been a rabbit hole that their army of presenters hasn’t been afraid to explore. Finally, after countless requests to bring Nerd Nite to more fans across the globe, co-founders and college pals Matt Wasowski and Chris Balakrishnan are bringing readers the quirky and accessible science content that they crave in book form, focused on STEM and paired with detailed illustrations that make the content pop. The resulting range of topics is quirky and vast, from kinky, spring-loaded spiders to the Webb telescope’s influence on movie special effects.
Hilariously named after Dale Carnegie’s iconic book, How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi features narratives, bursts, and infographics on all things STEM from scientists around the world. Chapters are sure to make you laugh-out-loud, with titles such as "The Science of the Hangover," "What Birds Can Teach Us About the Impending Zombie Apocalypse," and "Lessons from the Oregon Trail."
With fascinating details, facts, and illustrations, combined with Chris and Matt’s incredible connections to organizations such as the Discovery Network and the Smithsonian Institution, How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi is sure to reach joyful STEM enthusiasts of all ages around the world.
About Nerd Nite: Started in 2003, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in 100+ cities worldwide during which folks give 20-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines, while the audience drinks along!
"How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi feels like the science book we never knew we wrote! It's fun, accessible, and packed full of the kinds of factoids and knowledge that we love to share on our own podcast. Message to all the schools everywhere - get this on your shelves immediately!" — Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant and Josh Clark, Stuff You Should Know podcast
“A sheer delight. Will I now have recurring nightmares of spiny maggots gently prying dead skin from my feet? Maybe. But my waking self now knows this is a GOOD thing. Bravo Avir and company! And bravo maggots!” — Jad Abumrad, Founder and Fromer Co-Host, NPR's RadioLab
"As I can testify from personal experience, Nerd Nite is one of the greatest achievements of the human species."
— Michael Caruso, CEO and Publisher, The New Republic
"An enjoyable romp through the back alleys of scientific research, proving that knowledge and fun can easily go together." — Kirkus
"What a gift to have all of Nerd Nite's greatest hits collected in one place! How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi is the most fun I've had with a popular science book in a long time. There's a 100% chance that this book will blow your mind and make you laugh, but there's also the distinct possibility that you'll learn something life-changing — or at least how to get rid of that hangover." — Erin Barker, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Story Collider
"The broad range of topics ensures most readers will find something of interest, and the brisk pace will keep them glued to their seats. Playful yet enlightening, this entertains." — Publisher's Weekly