Posts Tagged ‘Writer Interview’

Michelle Nijhuis’s National Geographic Adventure Began with a Single 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 […]

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Jon Mooallem uncovers a wild 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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Richard Todd on Good Prose

In 1973, Richard Todd was a young editor at The Atlantic Monthly. His boss, Atlantic 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 […]

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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 […]

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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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George Johnson chases lightning

Some people fret over the chances that lightning might strike the same place twice. After three summers trailing lightning-chaser Tim Samaras on a unique photographic quest, science writer George Johnson would perhaps have been content with it happening just once. On assignment for National Geographic, Johnson patiently waited and watched as Samaras tried to capture a […]

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Ed Yong profiles a scientific dynasty

Science is practiced by people, and people never work in isolation. Scientists train their students, who grow up to be scientists in their own right and train students to follow in their own footsteps. Along the way, scientific dynasties emerge, working together to establish new ways of thinking and applying their ideas to new problems. […]

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Maryn McKenna reports the dark side of agriculture

Science journalist Maryn McKenna has covered the infectious diseases beat for more than a decade. During that time, she’s written countless articles and two award-winning books on the subject. Through her reporting, she developed an interest in how large-scale farming operations spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Last year, McKenna produced a package of stories on women who had […]

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