Between the Grains: A Captivating Talk with Vince Beiser on the Global Significance of Sand | Shorewords!

April 20, 2023

Discover the surprising secrets of sand!

In this rebroadcast, join Lesley Ewing, host of Shorewords!, as she catches up with acclaimed author Vince Beiser at the Berkeley Book Festival to discuss his eye-opening book, The World in a Grain. Vince, a finalist for the prestigious PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and a California Book Award recipient, delves into the surprising world of sand, revealing its vital role in shaping our environment, technology, and economy. With a rich history of contributions to renowned publications such as Wired, Harper's, The Atlantic, and the New York Times, Vince shares his insights and discoveries on this often-overlooked yet indispensable resource. Don't miss this fascinating conversation that will forever change how you view sand and its place in our world!

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Lesley Ewing

Hello. I’m Lesley Ewing, host of Shorewords!. This podcast combines two of my favorite things – the ocean and books. I learned to swim before I could walk and looked forward each summer to my family’s vacation at Ocean City, Maryland. As a student I was interested in science and engineering and became an environmental engineer before learning that there was something called coastal engineering. Both my 1 st and 2 nd mid-life crises resulted in me going back to school – first for a Masters of Engineering at UC Berkeley and later for a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. The first crisis also moved me from DC to the SF Bay. The second crisis reminded me how much I liked to read. Getting a Ph.D. while working a 40+-hour/week job meant that my only reading was work reports, text books and technical articles. They were all important and interesting books, but as soon as school ended, I replaced my academic text books with broader literature and realized that the coast was often a character in the fiction and non-fiction that I read. I am still fascinated by every visit to the ocean and remain in awe of what others write about the coast.