Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney shows how seemingly idle pursuits provide unexpected paths to appreciating overlooked wonders.

Why you should listen

As co-founder of The Idler magazine, Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a longtime advocate of the joys of time ill-spent. In The Cloudspotter's Guide and The Cloud Collector's Handbook, he tackles the idlest pursuit of all: cloudwatching.

Pretor-Pinney’s blend of tranquil appreciation and hard science have floated his cloud books to the top of bestseller lists. For Pretor-Pinney, clouds illustrate how mundane phenomena reveal the complex vectors that connect the natural wonders around us.

Pretor-Pinney is also the author of The Wavewatcher's Companion.

What others say

"The U.K. Cloud Appreciation Society grew out of a talk on clouds Mr. Pretor-Pinney delivered to a literary festival in 2004. To attract attendees, he invented a whimsical title: the Inaugural Lecture of the Cloud Appreciation Society. To his surprise, several people asked to join. The society was born." — Gautam Naik, Wall Street Journal

Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s TED talks

Gavin Pretor-Pinney on the TED Blog
See all
Science

8 illuminating facts about clouds

July 16, 2013

The Cloud Appreciation Society may be the first official organization to celebrate the beauty of clouds, but these fluffy pillows in the sky have been a source of fascination since 3,000 B.C., when they were first discussed in the Upanishads. Aristotle poetically described cloud formation in his 350 B.C. work Meteorology as the process by […]

Continue reading