Posts Tagged ‘Writer Interview’

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 […]

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 […]

Rachel Aviv Examines the Science of Sex Abuse

The criminal justice system has long relied on scientists—and especially psychologists—to make some of the most crucial assessments about defendants. Is this person fit to stand trial? Should the so-called insanity defense be applied? In many instances, the law lags far behind the science, with sometimes disastrous results. In “The Science of Sex Abuse,” Rachel […]

Paige Williams Investigates a Dinosaur Fossil Underworld

A dinosaur known as Tarbosaurus bataar once roamed what is now Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. About seventy million years later, its fossilized bones turned up at an auction in New York City, placing it at the center of a contentious battle between governments, paleontologists and professional bone hunters. From the moment Paige Williams learned about the black-market […]

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