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M.R. O’Connor: Ignition


  • Author Talk

  • Thursday, October 19, 5pm
  • Free for all
  • The Research & Development Store

Join us in the R & D Store for a co-sponsored event with the Council on the Uncertain Human Future for the book launch of Ignition: Lighting Fires in a Burning World, M.R. O’Connor’s new book on the history and powerful phenomenon of wildfire.

M.R. O’Connor is a journalist whose reporting focuses on the intersection of science, conservation, technology, and ethics. Her latest book Ignition weaves together first-hand reportage and research to investigate the science and cultural history of fire. In order to get as close to this element as possible, O’Connor trained as a wildland firefighter and embedded alongside firefighters and “pyrotechnicians” who light fires for ecological benefit in the forests and prairies of North America. Along the way, she explores the topics of climate change, mental health, and the criminalization of fire-lighting. In an era of catastrophic megafires, people on the frontlines are undertaking a radical effort to resurrect our relationship with fire and stewardship of the land. Described as “gutsy, clear-eyed, and surprisingly touching,” Ignition offers a wildly hopeful vision of an alternative environmental future.

A member of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, O’Connor will be in conversation with fellow CUHF members and writers Meehan Crist and Emily Raboteau. As an international network, the CUHF engages the planetary polycrisis and seeks larger perspectives through a practice of intentional conversation; in that process, collective insight and new levels of awareness arise, and possibilities are seeded.