Photo credit: Kevin Doncaster. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

A Voice with an Audience: an Interview with Hope Jahren

 

Photo credit: Kevin Doncaster. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.
Photo credit: Kevin Doncaster. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren, is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years. It’s a book about science. And about plants. And about people. As I wrote in a review earlier this year, Jahren manages to find a balance between entertaining popular science and compelling memoir. That’s a tough combination to pull off, and a hell of a read.

And I was far from the only one who enjoyed Lab Girl – it’s garnered positive attention in outlets from the New York Times to PBS to The Guardian.

Recently Jahren – who has relocated her geobiology lab from Hawaii to the University of Oslo – let me pick her brain about writing, blogging and how she balances her writing with her work as a scientist. Continue reading “A Voice with an Audience: an Interview with Hope Jahren”

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Taking Science Experiments (and Kids) Outdoors: an Interview with Liz Heinecke

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Summer is here, and for parents (like me) who have school-age children, that means finding ways to keep the kids occupied. And if those activities help to instill a love of science, all the better. So, what better time for finding a book of outdoor science experiments for children?

Well, folks, you’re in luck. Continue reading “Taking Science Experiments (and Kids) Outdoors: an Interview with Liz Heinecke”

The Peabody, Yale, and Natural History: an Interview with Richard Conniff

Photo courtesy of Richard Conniff.
Richard Conniff. Photo credit: Sally Pallotto.

I first visited the Peabody Museum of Natural History in the company of hundreds of science writers. The museum was hosting a social event for the annual conference of the National Association of Science Writers, which gave me the opportunity to explore its exhibits in the company of people who were exceptionally well-informed and gifted storytellers. It was the best possible introduction.

I visited again a few years later, this time in the company of family and friends. The enthusiasm our kids showed for the exhibits was contagious, as was my friend Jeff’s passion for discussing anything related to geology. I could have spent all day there. The Peabody, in my limited experience, is just that kind of place.

So, when I saw that Richard Conniff had written a book about the Peabody, House of Lost Worlds, I wanted to read it. And I had questions. Continue reading “The Peabody, Yale, and Natural History: an Interview with Richard Conniff”

Science for Parents: an Interview with Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham

Photo credit: EL Gringo. Image retrieved via Flickr and shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.
Photo credit: EL Gringo. Image retrieved via Flickr and shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

Parents, particularly first-time parents, get a lot of advice – whether they want it or not. Some of that advice comes from professionals, such as obstetricians, pediatricians and nurses. But a lot of advice comes from less reliable sources. Continue reading “Science for Parents: an Interview with Tara Haelle and Emily Willingham”

The Book for Science Bloggers (or Anyone Thinking About Starting a Blog)

A new book hit shelves on March 1. The book, Science Blogging: The Essential Guide, is specifically aimed at helping two groups of people: those who have already launched science blogs, and those who are thinking about launching science blogs. That said, the book would be useful for anyone interested in blogging – regardless of what the blog is about. Continue reading “The Book for Science Bloggers (or Anyone Thinking About Starting a Blog)”

Why It Was So Mysterious: an Interview with Steve Silberman

Photo credit: Jo Naylor. Retrieved via Flickr and shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.
Photo credit: Jo Naylor. Retrieved via Flickr and shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more information.

Neurotribes is an ambitious book. It is, as Oliver Sacks describes it in the foreword, “a sweeping and penetrating history of [autism, Asperger’s syndrome and how those diagnoses are understood]. Grappling with such a sweeping topic is a challenge, especially when it is subject to public controversy. How does a science writer deal with readers whose fears have led them to discount science (as is the case with those who claim vaccines have caused an autism “epidemic”)? Continue reading “Why It Was So Mysterious: an Interview with Steve Silberman”