Wayfinding #541

November 16, 2019

These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders sits down with Maura O'Connor, journalist and author of the new book "Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World" to talk about the new and old ways humans find our way across geography.


  • Maura O'Connor

Guest Bios

Maura O'Connor

Maura O'Connor is a journalist who writes about the politics and ethics of science, technology and conservation. Her work has appeared online in The Atavist, Slate, Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, Nautilus, UnDark and Harper's. Her first book, "Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things" was one of Library Journal and Amazon's Best Books of 2015. Her second book, "Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World", is an exploration of navigation traditions, neuroscience, and the diversity of human relationships to space, time and memory. Its writing was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan's Program for the Public Understanding of Science, Technology, & Economics. Her work has appeared online in The New Yorker, Nautilus, and Foreign Policy. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a former MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow.