Science Diction: The Secret Scientific Stories Of Words

On Friday, April 12, gather with us at the Strand Book Store in New York City as we tell tales of the scientific origins behind your favorite words.

a designed banner that reads "science diction: the secret scientific stories of words" and the science friday logo below. there is an illustrated typewriter on the left of "science diction." this is all over a black and white image of a wall of books and a door

This event is a part of Science Diction, a series digging into the scientific origin stories behind our words and language. Find all our stories and previous issues here.


When: April 12, 2019, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway, New York, NY

Tickets: $15, purchase your tickets here

What do tuberculosis, umami, and robots have in common? They’re all words with secret scientific origins. We’ve told these tales in Science Diction, a series that traces the backstories of the words and phrases we use every day. Now, just in time for National Library Week, come huddle in the Strand Book Store Rare Book Room with Science Friday as we reveal and celebrate all the ways science and language intersect.

The evening will be filled with live music from Brooklyn-based composer Darren Solomon, a special screening of a short science documentary, demonstrations, and live interviews. Science Friday’s resident word nerd Johanna Mayer will discuss all things snack science with food historian Nadia Berenstein, and lexicographer Jane Solomon will show us how a tiny picture becomes an emoji. Plus, get a sneak peek of Solomon’s new book The Dictionary of Difficult Words, available for pre-order at the event. You’ll even get a chance to participate in the evening’s festivities, too!

If you are an etymology enthusiast or a loyal logophileor if you just love to seek out storiesthis wordy, nerdy event will be one for the books. 

About Our Guests

Nadia Berenstein is a historian and journalist who writes about food, science, technology, and culture. Her work has appeared in MUNCHIES, New Food Economy, Serious Eats, Lucky Peach, and Popular Science. She has been a guest on Science Friday, and was an advisor for the Museum of Food and Drink. She is currently at work on her book, Flavor: An Artificial History. Follow her on Twitter @thebirdisgone.

Jane Solomon is a lexicographer based in Oakland, California. She works for Dictionary.com and is a member of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, the group that decides new emojis for our devices. She also works on an emoji sky generator and runs @emojiinfluencer, an Instagram account profiling the glamorous life of an influencer who happens to be an emoji. Her children’s book The Dictionary of Difficult Words is out spring 2019. Follow her on Twitter @janesolomon.

Darren Solomon is a composer, bassist and keyboard player, based in Brooklyn. He has written the music for hundreds of TV commercials, winning both a Clio and Cannes Gold Lion for best music. His collaborative music website In B Flat 2.0 was featured on CNN and NPR’s Weekend Edition, and he records electronic music and remixes under the name Science for Girls. Darren is currently a Visiting Affiliate Artist at SUNY Purchase.


Find out when Science Friday is heading your way! Sign up for our events newsletter.

Meet the Writer

About Diana Montano

Diana Montano is the Events Producer at Science Friday, where she crafts live events to delight and engage audiences in the world of science.

Explore More

Welcome To Science Diction

We're examining the secret scientific origin of words.

Read More

The Origin Of The Word ‘Umami’

There's science behind deliciousness.

Read More