June 1992 – Present: Independent Writer and Editor
• Author of Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens (New York: Norton, 2016), which was named one of the 20 best nonfiction books of 2016 by Amazon, was nominated for The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, received a starred review in Kirkus, and was an Indie Next selection.
• Author of Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), which was one of five finalists for the 2002 nonfiction National Book Award, received the Science-in-Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers, and was named a Best Science Book of 2002 by Discover magazine and Library Journal.
• Author of Count Down: Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World’s Toughest Math Competition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004), which was named a Best Science Book of 2004 by Discover magazine.
• Coauthor of Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Religion in a World Without God (New York: HarperCollins, 2010).
• Coauthor of “Modelling the Recent Common Ancestry of All Living Humans,” Nature 431(2004):562-566.
• Corresponding author of “The Use of Racial, Ethnic, and Ancestral Categories in Human Genetics Research,” American Journal of Human Genetics 77(2005):519-532.
• Author of Evolution in Hawaii: A Supplement to Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2004).
• Author of articles on science, technology, and public policy in The Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Science, Scientific American, Wired, The Washington Post, Slate, Teacher, Astronomy,and other magazines.
• Writer for Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, a guidebook for high school biology teachers; Helping Children Learn Mathematics, a popular version of the NRC report Adding It Up; Global Perspectives for Local Action: Using TIMSS to Improve U.S. Mathematics and Science Education, a book on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study; Beyond Bio 101: The Transformation of Undergraduate Biology Education, a book about changes in undergraduate biology programs; the “Call to Action” and “Overview” of the National Science Education Standards; the “Overview” of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics; Science, Technology, and the Federal Government: National Goals for a New Era, a broad reexamination of the rationale for federal support of science and technology; On Being a Scientist, a guide to research ethics; and Reinventing Schools: The Technology Is Now, a book on information technologies in K-12 education.
• Director from 1992 through 1998 of the National Academy Op-Ed Service, responsible for preparing and distributing op-ed articles to about 300 U.S. newspapers.
July 1989 – June 1992: Special Assistant for Communications, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President
• Author of speeches, congressional testimony, and articles for the director of OSTP. Also acted as liaison to other White House offices.
September 1979 – July 1989: Independent Writer and Editor
• Author of the books Shaping the Future: Biological Research and Human Values (1989), Biotechnology: An Industry Comes of Age (1986), and Alcohol in America: Taking Action to Prevent Abuse (1985), all published by the National Academy Press.
• Editorial consultant to various committees, boards, and panels within the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council. Wrote and edited reports for the Committee on the Conduct of Science, the Committee on the Use of Animals in Research, the Committee on a National Strategy for AIDS, the Committee on Solid-Earth Sciences, the Committee on Materials Science and Engineering, the Committee on Natural Disasters, the Food and Nutrition Board, the Five-Year Outlook on Science and Technology Committee, and the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, among others.
• Contributing editor to Science 84-86 magazine. Also wrote feature articles and columns for Science 82-86, The Washingtonian, Mosaic, the Washington Post Magazine, Science Illustrated, City Paper, Time-Life Books, and other publications.
May 1978 – September 1979: Writer and Editor, The Futurist magazine
September 1974 – May 1978: B.A. in Physics, summa cum laude, Yale University