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Michael Pollan presented his lecture as the 2002-2003 Avenali Chair in the Humanities at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley. Pollan is the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, winner of the James Beard Award, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post, and The Botany of Desire, among others.