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Popular Articles

Before moving to Seattle in 2009, I was writing five or six articles for magazines and newspapers a year.  Some were based on topics I’ve written about elsewhere.  Others reflect random interests.  A fair number originated in editors’ suggestions.  Here’s a fairly complete list.

“Who’s Your Daddy?” The Atlantic, July-August 2007

“The Fun of Science,” The Washingtonian, May 2007

“The Birth of Birth,” Yale Alumni Magazine, March/April 2007

“What Is the Purpose of Noncoding DNA?” and “How Does a Fertilized Egg Become a Human?” Wired, February 2007

“Beyond the Next Ridge [Profile of Nobel Laureate Craig Mello],” HHMI Bulletin, February 2007

“Genes Fashioned with a Common Thread [Book review of The Making of the Fittest by Sean Carroll],” Washington Post, November 21, 2006

“Faces of the New Atheism:  The Punk Rocker [Profile of musician Greg Graffin],” Wired, November 2006

“Neanderthal Man [Profile of geneticist Svante Paabo],” Smithsonian, October 2006 — This article was reprinted in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007.

“Modern-Day Virus Hunters,” HHMI Bulletin, August 2006

Descended from Jesus? Do the Math,” Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2006

“The Hunt for the Ur-Mammal [Profile of geneticist David Haussler]” Wired, April 2006

“Why We’re All Jesus’ Children,” Slate, March 15, 2006

Half Full and Half Empty,” Yale Alumni Magazine, November/December 2005

“Evolution is Our Laboratory,” HHMI Bulletin, December 2005

“Teenager’s Odd Chromosome Points to Possible Tourette Syndrome Gene,” Science, October 14, 2005

“Bioinformatics [Profile of mathematician Phil Green],” HHMI Bulletin, Spring 2005

“An Argument’s Mutating Concerns,” Washington Post, March 20, 2005

“Brain Scans Raise Privacy Concern,” Science, March 11, 2005

“Preface,” The American Heritage Science Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin, 2005

“The Synapse Revealed,” HHMI Bulletin, Fall 2004

“Benoit Mandelbrot,” Yale Alumni Magazine, November 2004

“Teenager’s Odd Chromosome Points To Possible Tourette Syndrome Gene,” Science, October 14, 2005

“Making Sense of Tourette’s,” Science, September 3, 2004, pp. 1390-1392

“The Man Who Mapped the Brain” (book review), Yale Alumni Magazine, May/June 2004, pp. 58-60

“Shapes of a Wedge” (book review), Science, May 7, 2004, 825-826

“Does Race Exist?” by Michael Bamshad and Steve Olson, Scientific American, December 2003, pp. 50-57

“Field of Vision,” HHMI Bulletin, December 2003, pp. 24-27

“A Problem-Solving Dynasty,” Focus:  The Newsletter of the Mathematical Association of America, August/September 2003, p. 17

“We’re All Related to Kevin Bacon,” Washington Post, December 8, 2002, p. B2

“Seeking the Signs of Selection,” Science, November 15, 2002, pp. 1324-1325

“The Royal We,” Atlantic Monthly, May 2002, pp. 62-64 — This article was reprinted in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002.

“Microbes Vs. Humans:  Who’s Winning?” HHMI Bulletin, March 2002, pp. 26-29

“The Genetic Archaeology of Race [Profile of geneticist Luca Cavalli-Sforza],” Atlantic Monthly, April 2001, 69-80

“Chromosome Clips” (book review), Washington Monthly, January/February 2001, pp. 58-60

“SNPs:  Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms,” HHMI Bulletin, July 2000, pp. 18-23

“Candid Camera:  Videotaping the Classroom,” Teacher, May/June 1999, pp. 29-32

“Black Hole Hunters,” Astronomy, May 1999, pp. 48-55

“Videotapes Expose Classroom Faults,” Science, March 12, 1999, pp. 1616-1617

“Science Friction,” Teacher, August/September 1998, pp. 51-58

“The Danger of Space Junk,” Atlantic Monthly, July 1998

“Star Party,” Discovery Channel Online, June 25-July 3, 1998

“Stargazing,” Teacher, February 1998, pp. 24-28

“Raising Astronomers,” Astronomy, December 1997, pp. 78-83

“White House Enlists Science for Public Education Effort,” Science, August 1, 1997, pp. 630-631

“Who’s Responsible for Tracking Bias in Science Studies?” ScienceWriters, Spring 1997, pp. 1-4

“Baltimore’s Newest Tourist Attraction — Scientists,” Science, March 28, 1997, pp. 1874-1875

“Future Splash:  Seattle’s 35-Year Voyage into the 21st Century,” Slate, Feb. 21, 1997, pp. 21-22

“I Hear America Modeming,” City Paper, March 4-10, 1992, pp. 22-30

“Full of Hot Air — Washington’s Steam Tunnels,” City Paper, November 11, 1989, p. 14-16

“Bum Rap,” City Paper, July 22, 1988, p. 18

“They Said It Was Going to Be Sunny,” The Washingtonian, December 1987, pp. 182-187

“The Gurus of Flavor,” Science Illustrated, 1986, pp. 26-31

“Mother Earth’s Uncertain Future,” Science 86, June 1986, p. 80

“In the Shadow of Fermat’s Last Theorem,” Science 86, March 1986, p. 84

“The Warm Earth,” Science 85, October 1985, pp. 50-57

“Following Aspirin’s Trail,” Science 85, April 1985, p. 20

“Why Is Life Handed?” Science 84, p. 22

“Positrons, Matter, and Materials,” Mosaic, 1984, pp. 28-36

“Year of the Tornado,” Science 84, November 1984, pp. 174-1831

“Nuclear Undertakers,” Science 84, September 1984, pp. 50-59

“Sage of Software (Edsger Dijkstra),” Science 84, January/February 1984, pp. 75-80

“The Contours Below,” Science 83, July/August 1983, pp. 38-41

“Pathways of Choice,” Mosaic, July/August 1983, pp. 2-7

“Why Is the Sea Constant,” Science 82, November 1982, p. 112

“Computing Climate,” Science 82, May 1982, pp. 52-60

“Fighting Frost Bugs,” Science 81, November 1981, pp. 94-95

“Real Work,” Washington Post Magazine, September 6, 1981, p. 9

“Prospects for the Automobile,” The Futurist, February 1980, pp. 27-34