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March 6, 2023 | Guest Author

Author photo of Bethany Brookshire and cover of her book, Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. Author photo: Lancer Photography, 2022. All rights reserved.

Why do we dote on parakeets but not pigeons? Why do we let cats curl up on our laps but catch rats in traps?

Science writer Bethany Brookshire, author of the new book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains, visits the Libraries to discuss why we deem certain animals “pests” and others not—and what those distinctions say about us as humans.

Brookshire will give a book talk on Tuesday, April 4 from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Hill Library’s Fishbowl Forum. The event is free and open to the public; register on Eventbrite. Copies of Pests will be for sale at the event. Eva DeSantis, student leader of the NC State Herpetology Club, will also bring a California kingsnake.

At the intersection of science, history, and narrative journalism, Pests is not a simple call to look closer at our urban ecosystem nor a natural history of the animals we hate. Instead, this book is about us. It’s about what calling an animal a pest says about people, how we live, and what we want. Brookshire’s deeply researched and entirely entertaining book shows readers what there is to venerate in vermin and helps them appreciate how these animals have clawed their way to success as we did everything we could to ensure their failure.

Brookshire is an author and freelance science journalist and a host and producer on the podcast “Science for the People.” This program is a partnership between the NC State University Libraries and the Genetic Engineering and Society Center.

This article originally appeared on the NC State Libraries News at

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