Michael D. Lemonick | The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love

Michael D. Lemonick | The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love

Monday, Mar 11, 2019 7:00 PM

Manuel's Tavern
602 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307

Mike Lemonick, Chief Opinion Editor at Scientific American and author, visits the Atlanta Science Festival. Join us to hear him share research from his latest book, "The Perpetual Now," where he'll tell the tale of a victim of profound, irreversible amnesia and how she is helping neuroscientists deepen their understanding of how and why we remember.

Free parking is available. Dinner and drinks will be available for purchase during the talk.

About the Book

In the aftermath of a shattering illness, Lonni Sue Johnson lives in a "perpetual now," where she has almost no memories of the past and a nearly complete inability to form new ones. "The Perpetual Now" is the moving story of this exceptional woman, and the groundbreaking revelations about memory, learning, and consciousness her unique case has uncovered.

Johnson was a renowned artist who regularly produced covers for The New Yorker, a gifted musician, a skilled amateur pilot, and a joyful presence to all who knew her. But in late 2007, she contracted encephalitis. The disease burned through her hippocampus like wildfire, leaving her severely amnesic, living in a present that rarely progresses beyond ten to fifteen minutes.

Remarkably, she still retains much of the intellect and artistic skills from her previous life, but it's not at all clear how closely her consciousness resembles yours or mine. As such, Johnson's story has become part of a much larger scientific narrative—one that is currently challenging traditional wisdom about how human memory and awareness are stored in the brain.

In this probing, compassionate, and illuminating book, award-winning science journalist Michael D. Lemonick uses the unique drama of Lonni Sue Johnson's day-to-day life to give us a nuanced and intimate understanding of the science that lies at the very heart of human nature.

If you are unable to attend this event, you may pre-order a signed copy below.

About the Author

Michael D. Lemonick is the Chief Opinion Editor at Scientific American. He has written more than 50 Time magazine cover stories on science, and has written for National Geographic, The New Yorker and other publications. This is his seventh book.