In this most unusual festival year, we’ve been announcing our lineup in a different way, rolling out our presenter lineup over the last several weeks. Overall, the lineup for BBF 2020 consists of more than 140 authors and moderators who will participate in 55 live and prerecorded events. Just like our attendees, they’ll be tuning in from all over; our presenters hail from 21 states plus the District of Columbia, as well as the United Kingdom and Kenya! Our schedule announcements will be coming soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share our final set of presenters for BBF 2020, featuring notable names in nonfiction.
Philosophy, Kindness, and Comfort Food
An uplifting session on How to Be a Good Human features Brad Aronson (HumanKind), Max Bazerman (Better, Not Perfect), and Molly Howes (A Good Apology).
A session on gastronomy and memory will whet audiences’ appetites for stories of pioneering figures in the culinary world. John Birdsall‘s The Man Who Ate Too Much is the definitive biography of James Beard. And in her memoir Always Home, Fanny Singer combines mouthwatering recipes with recollections of her mother, the chef Alice Waters.
A fascinating conversation with author Andrew S. Curran on the life and legacy of the philosopher Denis Diderot, based on his book Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely.
Science, Business, and Technology
As at past BBFs, we will feature several issues delving into current issues in business, science, and technology:
Pioneering reproductive medicine specialist Merle J. Berger reflects on his career in his memoir Conception, and Harvard Business School’s Debora L. Spar focuses on the intersections of how technology governs our intimate lives in Work Mate Marry Love, as part of a session on Love and Technology.
A timely session on Pathogens and Pills brings together biomedical engineer Muhammad H. Zaman—whose new book, Biography of Resistance, traces the tension between humans and pathogens over millennia—and virologist and drug industry expert Peter Kolchinsky, who insightfully explores biomedical research and the pharmaceutical industry in The Great American Drug Deal.
In a session considering troubles in the tech industry, Dipayan Ghosh, author of Terms of Disservice, makes the case for helping the internet work for all of us, not just those in Silicon Valley. Speaking of which, in their new book Voices from the Valley, Ben Tarnoff and Moira Weigel interview several professionals at all levels to find out what working in Silicon Valley is really like.
The past, present, and future of women of color in the tech industry is the focus of a conversation with Ainissa Ramirez (The Alchemy of Us), Susanne Tedrick (Women of Color in Tech), and Bridgette Wallace (co-founder of Roxbury ‘s G|Code House, a co-living, working and learning community for young women interested in tech professions).
Finally, in a session that looks at the upside of business, Rebecca Henderson (Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire) explores how restructured capitalism can help tackle critical problems, while Myriam Sidibe (Brands on a Mission) provides numerous case studies of how businesses can both bolster sales and also promote healthy habits.
Stay tuned for schedule announcements (and maybe a few more surprises) coming soon, and in the meantime, if you’re interested in technology issues, you’ll want to check out the audio archives of the BBF 2019 session Technologies of Freedom or Control? with Shoshana Zuboff and Roger McNamee, and then check out the new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, which features Zuboff and McNamee and offers great background info for the tech session at BBF 2020!