The value of collegiate sports

As I’ve followed the NCAA basketball tournament (join me and some folks from Radiolab tonight, as we live tweet the final game), I’ve been thinking about the value of collegiate sports. My first experience with sports in college came as an NCAA division I cross-country runner. I lettered in cross-country at the University of Colorado […]

My Dirty Stream

You’ve probably heard a lot of Pete Seeger songs in the last couple of days. And no wonder: When Seeger died on Monday, he left behind a very long lifetime’s worth of beautiful, cheeky, unforgettable songs. But what he left me — and the millions of other kids who grew up along the Hudson River […]

Can’t We All Just … ?

Recently, based on the well-established if-Netflix-made-it-then-it-must-be-awesome principle, I have been watching the show Lillehammer. (This principle is firmly based in the orange-is-the-new-black correlate, the house-of-cards theorem, and the Derek postulate). Like all the Netflix shows, it’s pretty good. But unlike some, it’s only pretty good. It’s about a New York wise guy who ends up […]

The First Hero: A Girl

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle subverted the established cultural order by adopting her five-year old’s suggestion that Bilbo Baggins was a girl.  Most people applauded but some gnashed their teeth: don’t second-guess literature, they said, and if Bilbo is a hero and heroes are boys, then so be it.  But I have prior and […]

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl. The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.) […]

Growing the Science Writing Pie

Several weeks ago I was invited to sit in on a fascinating workshop on journalism. Hosted by the Mexican Society for Science and Technology Communication (SOMEDICYT), it was a collection of science writers from Mexico and abroad gathered together to discuss the definition of science journalism. It was the kind of philosophical dialogue that you don’t […]

Guest Post: Talk to Them, Just Talk to Them

Scientists, policymakers, FDA officials, industry spokespersons–talk to my science journalism students! Yes, they haven’t received their masters degrees yet from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP); and yes, most of them are newbies to the profession. But you shouldn’t ignore their emails or make them send reminder messages two or three […]

My love-hate relationship with e-books

Ever since I read a New York Times article about the possibility of bedbugs spreading through library books, I’ve been too paranoid to check out a book from my local library. (Yes, I know people have argued that the article was way overblown. What can I say? I have an irrational fear of the bedbug.) […]