Michael Pollan

For more than thirty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. He is the author of the multiple New York Times best sellers, including How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013), Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001).


In his latest audiobook Caffeine: How caffeine created the modern world, Michal Pollan offers his provocative look into the profound ways that what we eat affects how we live. Caffeine, it turns out, has changed the course of human history: Pollan’s reporting explores how caffeine has won and lost wars, changed politics, and dominated economies. The science behind caffeine addiction forms the fascinating backdrop to this definitive look at an insidious drug that hides in plain sight. With his wide-ranging talent to entertain, inform, and perform, Michael Pollan’s Caffeine is essential listening in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.


Several of his books have been adapted for television. Netflix created a four-part documentary series based on Cooked in 2016, and documentary adaptations of In Defense of Food (2015) and The Botany of Desire (2009) both premiered on PBS. Pollan also appeared in the Academy Award nominated 2009 feature documentary, Food Inc. In 2015-2016, Pollan was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In 2013, he was awarded Italy’s Premio Nonino prize. In 2012, he was given the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers. In 2010, Pollan was named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Also in 2010 he was also awarded the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace by Yoko Ono. In 2009 he was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders.”

Pollan is currently the Lewis K. Chan Arts Lecturer and Professor of the Practice of NonFiction at Harvard University. Since 2003, Pollan has held the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, health and the environment. Michael Pollan, who was born in 1955, grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Bennington College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, from which he received a Master’s in English. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer.

Upcoming Events

Featuring Talks By:
Carolyn Steel
Michael Pollan
Jennifer Ackerman
Patrick Barkham
George Monbiot

5x15 - May - Free Online Event

In our second online event we take a look at the world around us. We discuss how food can change the world and explore new ideas on the current crisis and the environment.