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Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus, live on stage in Cambridge


Join the author of global sensation Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus, live on stage in Cambridge as she shares the inside scoop on her international bestselling debut novel. All profits from the event will go to Cambridge Children's Hospital. Booking information The event will take place from 6.00-7.15pm. After the event the book signing will take place Price: With book £35.00 / Without Book £15.00 Booking for this event will close on Wednesday 6 March 2024, 10.00pm GMT.

An image of Bonnie Garmus

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.

The same is true of Elizabeth’s creator. A wildly successful advertising creative turned novelist, Bonnie’s story of her protagonist’s rise to stardom in the sexist world of 1960s America is a feminist fable that has taken the world by storm. The book has recently been adapted for Apple TV, with Brie Larson in the lead role.

Live in conversation, Bonnie will offer her unique perspective on the novel and share what’s next for one of the most exciting new authors on the literary scene.

Unique to this event will be the opportunity to buy a copy of a new limited edition clothbound edition of Lessons In Chemistry and Bonnie will be doing a post-show signing on the night.

All profits from this event will go to the Cambridge Children's Hospital. 

Launched in March 2021, the Campaign for Cambridge Children’s Hospital will raise funds to build a world-leading hospital in Cambridge for the East of England. Encompassing a global paediatric health research institute, the Cambridge Children’s Hospital will transform paediatric healthcare as we know it, bringing together mental and physical health care for children age 0-19 and using cutting-edge genomic medicine to diagnose disease before symptoms begin and to treat the whole child.

Under the leadership of campaign co-chairs Dame Mary Archer and Majid Jafar, the team have committed to raising £100 million from philanthropy to make the hospital a reality. 

BONNIE GARMUS is a copywriter/creative director who has worked for a wide range of clients, focusing primarily on technology, medicine, and education. She is an open-water swimmer, a rower, and mother to two daughters. Most recently from Seattle, she lives in London with her husband and her dog, 99. 

BONNIE SAYS: “In Lessons in Chemistry I was looking to address the long-standing problem of how brilliant minds have been routinely barred from science through systemic sexism, racism, and cultural barriers. Science is the one field in which keeping minorities—women, people of colour, people of all genders—out, is not only unacceptable, it’s perverse given that science itself doesn’t recognize intellectual limitations within these groups. 

My mother was a nurse, a career she gave up to stay at home and raise four daughters. But it was clear she really missed nursing (and she did return to it eventually). I often asked her why she became a nurse instead of a doctor and she usually answered one of two ways: either that she wasn’t “smart enough” to become a doctor, or that nursing was what women were better at. Both of these answers used to bother me because my mother was the smartest woman I knew. 

I’m not a planner. I tend to sketch out characters, then write individual scenes for each of them; then gradually tie them together as the themes evolve. However, Elizabeth Zott first appeared as a minor character in a book I was writing for my MFA (a degree I had to abandon due to personal reasons). I never finished that book, but Elizabeth Zott never left me. I knew who she was and I knew I had to tell her story.

Although I’m not a scientist, I once worked for a scientific publisher (Benjamin-Cummings) and have always been fascinated by the scientific method because of the way it demands evidence rather than assertions or stories. I’ve been surrounded by scientists all my life; I’ve watched how carefully they think and rethink their hypotheses, put their ideas to the test, admit mistakes—all in order to better understand how our world actually functions. But I’m also equally fascinated by those who go into science yet lack that essential morality that ensures what they seek is the truth. ”