Cody Cassidy's New Book Humanizes Ancient Firsts

May 7, 2020

Have you ever wondered who invented the wheel? Who told the first joke? Who drank the first beer? Who was the first surgeon? Who sparked the first fire? 

According to Cassidy, the first person to eat an oyster not only possessed a bold palate–she (and it was likely a she) was also a scientific genius. She may have been the first to make the connection between the phases of the moon and the rise and fall of the tides.
Credit Courtesy of Penguin Random House

On this episode of River to River, Ben Kieffer speaks with science writer Cody Cassidy who explores these questions in his new book "Who Ate the First Oyster: The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History." Cassidy's research explores not just humankind's ancient firsts, but muses about the people who accomplished them. Cassidy interviewed more than 100 experts, read dozens of books and hundreds of research papers.


Cody Cassidy, science writer, author, "Who Ate the First Oyster? The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History"