As a child Jim’s mother let him keep snakes, frogs and bees in his bedroom. We built a glass hive and cut a hole in the wall so the bees could fly in and out. After he read John Steinbeck and Cannery Row Jim wanted to be like Doc Ricketts so he collected worms and crabs and soft critters under the piers in San Francisco Bay. He brought the animals to school and showed the kids how slugs slithered over glass and how snails held to the slippery slopes, breathed and retreated into their houses.
Later as a graduate student at Stanford University at Hopkins Marine Station where Doc Ricketts had taught biology to all his friends and collected specimens, Jim continued Doc’s practices. Born in 1940, raised in San Francisco and educated at Stanford University and UCSF in biology and medicine, Jim Lawry became another ancient mariner loving science and literature, who all his life would stop wedding guests to show them how exciting doing science was so they might teach him about their worlds.
Jim loves reading and writing and if he waits long enough and reads and studies and asks enough questions, about the critters he may piece together their little lives with those of human people. Stories help Jim find the essential in the ephemeral. What is real is not what we see but what we see of the ideas in things.
Jim’s writing includes: Essential Concepts of Clinical Physiology (Sinauer) and The Incredible Shrinking Bee: Insects as Models for Microelectromechanical Devices (Imperial College Press) as well as technical papers, poetry, and plays including Otto’s Inferno (Retention of German atomic scientists in Farm Hall England after WWII) and his newest play, Xanadu, a Mathematical Farrago.
Jim together with Regal House Publishing will publish The Nudibranch Elegies & Anthropocene’s End about how human and other lives adjust to each other.