Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

David Wolman Explores Italian Earthquake’s Legal Aftershocks

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake ripped through the heart of the central Italian mountain town of L’Aquila in April 2009, killing more than 300 people. To the horror of much of the scientific community, seven scientists and engineers were later charged with manslaughter, accused of misleading the public and creating a false sense of security after […]

Seth Mnookin Follows a Family Battling a Rare Genetic Disease  

Bertrand Might’s parents knew something was wrong soon after he was born in 2007. The baby was “jiggly” and nearly impossible to comfort; as he grew, his health deteriorated. For years, the Mights searched desperately for a diagnosis. In 2012, scientists at Duke University learned through a form of genetic analysis known as exome sequencing […]

Erica Klarreich Profiles an Award-Winning Mathematician

In March 2014, mathematics and science journalist Erica Klarreich got a rare chance to report exclusively on a top math story. Thomas Lin, the managing editor of Quanta Magazine, had convinced the International Mathematical Union to give him advance notice of the winners of the Fields Medals, which are awarded every four years and are […]

Michelle Nijhuis’s Nat Geo Adventure Began with a Word

In her first assignment from National Geographic, award-winning freelance science journalist Michelle Nijhuis started with a one-word assignment: coal. Based on that single word, Nijhuis traveled from West Virginia, a top coal state, to China, the world’s largest coal user. No spoilers here, so we’ll just say that a long lag between assignment and publication […]

Jon Mooallem on a Plan to Bring Hippopotamus Ranching to America

Jon Mooallem is fascinated by the relationships between humans and other animals, a topic he explores in his 2013 book Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America. Mooallem is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and a frequent contributor to other magazines […]

Deborah Blum: From Book to Documentary Film

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Deborah Blum’s five books have immersed her in the worlds of animal rights, the psychology of affection, the neurology of sex, the search for paranormal phenomena, and the chemistry of poisons. Her New York Times bestselling book The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, published in 2010, […]

Christie Wilcox Gets a Taste of the Atlantic Lionfish Invasion

The lionfish, a common aquarium fish native to the Indo-Pacific region, has become an invasive species in the Caribbean and southern U.S. Atlantic coast, where its voracious appetite for young grouper and snapper is endangering populations of these economically-important food fish. One proposed solution is to encourage people to harvest and eat lionfish. Christie Wilcox is a science writer and  Ph.D. […]

Brendan Koerner Storyboards a Hijacking Tale

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, hijackers commandeered U.S. flights on an almost regular basis. And the hijackers themselves were usually American: often idealistic and sometimes mentally unstable protesters, or, later, the down-and-out intent on ransom. Airlines treated the phenomena a cost of doing business. A few years ago, Brendan Koerner discovered this episode in […]

Robin Marantz Henig Examines End of Life Issues

Peggy Battin, a bioethicist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, has long believed that the chronically ill and suffering should be able to choose to end their lives. She spent decades writing about assisted suicide, euthanasia, and death with dignity. But on November 14, 2008, her intellectual pursuits became intensely personal when […]

Amanda R. Martinez Explores Island Conservation’s Ethical Quandries

On dozens of islands throughout the world, a little-known group of conservationists is waging a high-stakes war against invasive species in an effort to restore frayed and altered ecosystems to their once-upon-a-time states. But this idyllic outcome has a controversial cost: the outright killing of hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals to spare endangered and […]

Richard Todd on Good Prose

In 1973, Richard Todd was a young editor at The Atlantic. His boss, The Atlantic‘s editor-in-chief Bob Manning, had just handed him a manuscript with a note scrawled across the top, “Let’s face it, this fellow can’t write.” The story was about a mass murder in California and its author was a student at the Iowa […]

Words with Friends: The Story Behind the Scilance Book

In 2005 Kendall Powell founded SciLance, an online community of 35 science writers, as a way to keep in touch with the colleagues she had met at conferences. The initial invitation to the group described it as “A network to discuss, ask advice, gripe, gossip, or otherwise virtually socialize about the business, ethics, logistics, struggles and […]

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