Professor Carl Djerassi will be giving a talk at the London Review Bookshop on Tuesday (18 November). Tickets are available online or by phone (number on LRB website) – advance booking only. Professor Djerassi will be talking about his new book Four Jews on Parnassus – a Conversation, which is a biography of Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adrono, Gershom Scholem and Arnold Schonberg, written as a debate between the four on Jewish identity, the making of history and the desire for immortality. The author is a novelist, playwright and emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University, perhaps most famous scientifically for being the first to synthesize an oral contraceptive. He's a colourful character: I've been involved in publishing many of his less formal scientific articles and reviews of his books over the years. Perhaps the article by him that sticks most in my mind is a Commentary opining "As a first step towards a new form of male contraception – sperm cryopreservation, vasectomy and eventual artificial insemination – the military services should begin a large-scale sperm cryopreservation programme" – Download Djerassi's article if you are intrigued!