I am a writer working from my office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (This website is named after Talaya, a peak I can see from my window.)
Three of my articles for the New York Times won the 2014 AAAS Science Journalism Award: "An Apple a Day, and Other Myths," "A Tumor, the Embryo's Evil Twin" and "Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer." It was the second time I've won the prize.
I've also been shortlisted three times for the Royal Society Book Prize, most recently for The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery.
My books have been translated into Italian, German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Greek, and Thai with editions forthcoming in Turkish, Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian, and Arabic.
I write a monthly column, Raw Data, for the New York Times. I've also written for National Geographic, Slate, Scientific American, Time, Wired, and The Atlantic.
My essay The Books in the Basement is in the collection My Einstein: Essays by Twenty-four of the World's Leading Thinkers on the Man, His Work, and His Legacy. I described some of my thoughts about science writing in Inside the Black Box, which appeared in a different form in The Field Guide to Science Writing.
I am co-founder of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, and I appear now and then on bloggingheads.tv with my friend John Horgan for a show called Science Faction. My observations about Santa Fe politics and other matters are in The Santa Fe Review, which includes glimpses of the surroundings through my web cam.
Here are links to my shocking appearance on The Colbert Report and a video of my being pickpocketed by Apollo Robbins at a consciousness conference on the Las Vegas Strip. I wrote about the experience in Sleights of Mind.
What I'm writing
What I'm reading
Why I became a science writer
What I really think about God
"On the Trail of the Illuminati: A Journalist's Search for The Conspiracy That Rules the World"
The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery. Knopf, August 2013. Vintage paperback, 2014.
The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments. Knopf, 2008. Vintage paperback, 2009.
Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe. James Atlas Books/Norton, 2005. Norton paperback, 2006.
A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer. Knopf, 2003. Vintage paperback, 2004.
Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics. Knopf, 1999. Vintage paperback, 2000.
Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order. Knopf, 1995. Vintage paperback, 1996.
In the Palaces of Memory: How We Build the Worlds Inside Our Heads. Knopf, 1991. Vintage paperback, 1992.
Machinery of the Mind: Inside the New Science of Artificial Intelligence. Times Books, 1986. Tempus / Microsoft paperback, 1987.
Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
I keep a list of my articles chronologically and by topic. Here are my resume and a biographical sketch (including a picture of my high school garage band and a letter from Richard Nixon). An NPR interview about Henrietta Swan Leavitt was broadcast on All Things Considered.
The best way to reach me is by email.