I am a writer working from my house in the Eastside Historic District of Santa Fe, New Mexico. (This website is named after Talaya, a peak I can see from my office window.) My book Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order was recently published in a 20th anniversary edition. My newest book is The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery.
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.
My books have been translated into Italian, German, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Greek, Thai, Arabic, Turkish, Romanian, Russian, and Bulgarian. Three of them, Fire in the Mind, Strange Beauty, and The Cancer Chronicles, were shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize.
I write a column, Raw Data, for the New York Times. I've also written for National Geographic, Slate, Scientific American, Pacific Standard, Time, Wired, and The Atlantic.
My essay The Books in the Basement is in the anthology My Einstein. I described some of my thoughts about science writing in Inside the Black Box, which appeared in a different form in The Field Guide for Science Writers.
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
"Inside the Black Box"
"The Books in the Basement"
What I really think about God
"Worlds Apart: The Dalai Lama Comes to Washington"
"Colors Are Truly Brilliant in Trek Up Mount Metaphor"
"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.