Canadian writer and naturalist Farley Mowat. Mowat has written widely on nature and wildlife and championed the cause of harp seals, whales, wolves, Eskimos. His books include A Whale for the Killing, The Boat Who Wouldn't Float and Never Cry Wolf. His latest book, Woman in the Mists, is the story of Dian Fossey, the American woman who studied and lived with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Africa. Fossey was murdered at her remote base camp in 1985. (This is the first part of a two-part interview with Mowat.) (Contains portion of Dian Fossey interview; May 12, 1982).
Writer Richard Rhodes. His book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, is a detailed account of the origins and early development of nuclear weapons. The book won the 1987 National Book Award for non-fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Astronaut Michael Collins. He controlled the Apollo 11 command module that circled the moon while Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on its' surface. Collins has written a history of the space program titled Liftoff.
Journalist Timothy Ferris spent twelve years writing his new history of the galaxy. He explores ancient and contemporary theories of the universe, and how philosophy and theology have influenced scientific advancements.
Film critic Stephen Schiff says the new biopic about the late zoologist, Gorillas in the Mist, is malarkey, with a script that shies away from the most compelling parts of Fossey's story. But star Sigourney Weaver shines.
New Yorker staff writer Alex Shoumatoff has a new book of essays called African Madness, about his travels throughout the continent. He joins Fresh Air to talk about the brutal reign of Emperor Bokassa in the Central African Republic, Dian Fossey's blind spots regarding the human populations near gorilla habitats, and the spread of AIDS.