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  • Twentysomething: Why do young adults seem stuck? (with Samantha Henig). Hudson Street Press, 2012; paperback, 2013
  • Pandora's Baby: How the first test tube babies sparked the reproductive revolution.  Houghton Mifflin, 2004; Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2006
  • The Monk in the Garden: The lost and found genius of Gregor Mendel.  Houghton Mifflin, 2000; Mariner Books, 2001


Earlier books: The People's HealthA Dancing Matrix, Being Adopted (with David Brodzinsky and Marshall Schechter), Your Premature Baby, How a Woman Ages, and The Myth of Senility


The New York Times
Magazine cover stories

  • "The Last Day" 5.17.2015
  • "A Life-or-Death Situation" 7.21.2013
  • "What Is It About 20-Somethings?" 8.22.2010
  • "Understanding the Anxious Mind" 10.4.2009
  • "The Medical Detectives" 2.22.2009
  • "Taking Play Seriously" 2.17.2008
  • "The Real Transformers" 7.29.2007
  • "Darwin's God" 3.4.2007
  • "Fat Factors" 8.13.2006
  • "Looking for the Lie" 2.5.2006
  • "Will We Ever Arrive at the Good Death?" 8.7.2005  
  • "Flu Pandemic" 11.29.1992   
  • "Saving Babies Before Birth" 2.28.1982


Magazine feature articles

  • "Racing With Sam" 1.30.2005 
  • "The Genome in Black and White (and Gray)" 10.10.2004
  • "The Quest to Forget" 4.4.2004
  • "Is Forgetting Your Glasses Alzheimer's Disease?" 4.24.1994
  • "Are Women's Hearts Different?" 10.3.1993
  • "Asthma Kills" 3.28.1993
  • "Dr. Anderson's Gene Machine" 3.31.1991
  • "In Business to Treat Cancer" 11.23.1986
  • "AIDS: A New Disease's Deadly Odyssey" 2.6.1983
  • "Dispelling Menstrual Myths" 3.7.1982
  • "The Child Savers" 3.22.1981
  • "The Case for Mother's Milk" 7.8.1979
  • "Exposing the Myth of Senility" 12.3.1978


Earlier NYT articles: Magazine columns ("Body and Mind" monthly contributor, "Idea Lab," "Lives," "Hers"); articles in the Book Review, Science Times, and op-ed; posts for the NYT blogs Motherlode, The 6th Floor, and The New Old Age




  • "The Ravages of Alzheimer's" 8.2015
  • "Unchained Melody" 6.2014
  • "Last Call" 4.2014

National Geographic

  • "Rethinking Gender" 1.2017
  • "Crossing Over: How Science is Redefining Life and Death" 4.2016

O: The Oprah Magazine

  • "The Fat Fight" (with Jess Zimmerman) 12.2009


  • "Parkinson's: The Pesticide Link" summer 2009
  • "Our Silver-Coated Future" fall 2007


  • "Obesogens" 1.2014

Scientific American

  • "Lifting the Black Cloud" 3.2012
  • "When Does Life Belong to the Living?" 9.2010
  • "Pandora's Baby" 6.2003
  • "Living Longer: What Really Works" summer 2000


  • "Saving Miss Vanessa" April 2018

Virginia Quarterly Review

  • "How to Write Science" fall 2012


  •  "Frozen in Time" April 2018


Earlier magazine articles: American Health, Civilization, Child, Discover, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, The L.A. Times, Mademoiselle, Mirabella, Ms. Newsday, Redbook, Self, Vogue, USA Today, The Washington Post, and Woman's Day




  • "Guess I'll Go Eat Worms" 7.30.2014

The Atlantic Online

  • "Fictional Plotlines and Real Assisted Suicide" 3.27.2014

National Geographic

  • "Are There Genes for Intelligence?" 12.11.2015
  • "Scientists Create Personalized Stem Cells" 4.28.2014
  • "Surgeons to Put Gunshot Victims Into Suspended Animation" 4.2.2014


  • "Did Grief Give Him Parkinson's?" 2.26.2015

New York

  • "The Unshakeable Optimism of the Modern Thirtysomething" 9.8.2014

Newsweek/The Daily Beast

  • "How Many Facebook Friends?" (with Samantha Henig) 10.22.2012
  • "Is Violence Finished?" 10.3.2011

NPR "Shots" Blog

  • "Psychedelic Drug Helps Cancer Patients Overcome Anxiety" 12.3.2016
  • "Give Thanks for Siblings" 11.2017, 11.2016, 11.2015, 11.2014
  • "Hope Races Ahead of Evidence in Magnets for Autism" 7.9.2016
  • "Despite Sweeping Aid-in-Dying Law, Few Will Have Option" 10.7.2015
  • "Freezing Eggs May Reduce Odds of IVF Success" 8.28.2015
  • "Early Push to HPV Vaccine May Have Backfired" 7.14.2015
  • "No One Should Have Right to Prolong My Death" 7.7.2015
  • "If You Have Dementia, Can You Hasten Death?" 2.10.2015
  • "Transgender Men Who Become Pregnant" 11.7.2014
  • "Women Pick Brains Over Looks in Egg Donors" 11.2.2014


  • "When It's Time to Let Go of Your Adult Child" 2.2013
  • "Co-Authoring a Book With My 20-Something Daughter" 12.2012
  • "My Bonsai Breasts" 8.2011


  • "Should You Freeze Your Eggs?" 10.1.2014
  • "The Ties That Blind" 2.9.2012
  • "If 'Modern Bride' is a Has-Been, What Does That Make Me?" 10.6.2009
  • "Monkeying With Motherhood" 9.8.2009
  • "Why Did Summer Stiers Die?" 7.9.2009



  • Adjunct Professor, New York University, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Science Health and Reporting Program, New York, NY, graduate class on journalism ethics, 2013-present
  • Organizer and Moderator, Workshop on the Ethics of Gene Editing, World Conference of Science Journalists, San Francisco, CA, October 25, 2017
  • Featured Speaker, McGill University Council on Palliative Care, 17th Annual Sandra Goldberg Lecture, Montreal, May 6, 2014
  • Interviewer, One-on-One with Margaret Batten on philosophy and end-of-life decision-making, The Yale Club, November 18, 2013
  • Panelist, Bioethics Boot Camp, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, March 30, 2012
  • Visitor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 2009-2010
  • Organizer and Moderator, NASW Regional Meeting, "Artists and Science Writers: Looking for Common Ground," CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY, March 11, 2009
  • Featured Speaker, New England Fertility Society annual meeting, Woodstock, NH, May 2008
  • Moderator, panel on dance and the human genome, CUNY Graduate Center, Program on Science and the Arts, New York, NY, April 2008
  • Instructor, master class in advanced nonfiction writing, Quebec Writers Federation, Montreal, QC, October 2006 and October 2010
  • Television Production Consultant, WGBH Boston, "The American Experience" episode on "Test Tube Babies" based on "Pandora's Baby," 2005-2006
  • Instructor, class on the social implications of reproductive technology, "Mysteries of Science" course series, The 92nd Street Y, New York, NY, January 2005
  • Panelist, panel on "Scientific Discoveries and How They Change Us," Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, VA, March 2004
  • Panelist, panel on "Writing About Science and Society," Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, VA, March 2004
  • Scholar in Residence, New York Public Library, "Research Revolution" film and discussion series, New York, NY, 7 sessions, March-April 2003
  • Faculty Member, Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, Santa Fe, NM, one week, June 2002
  • Featured Speaker, New York Public Library annual lecture, New York, NY, June 2001
  • Featured Speaker, Gifford Arboretum annual lecture, University of Miami, Miami, FL, April 2001
  • Featured Speaker, Mendel Medal annual lecture, Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA, January 2001



  • National Magazine Award, 2018 ("Rethinking Gender," lead story in team entry from National Geographic)
  • Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2017 ("Rethinking Gender," lead story in team entry from National Geographic)
  • Guggenheim Award, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2009-2010
  • Society of Professional Journalists, The Deadline Club award, 2014 ("A Life-  or-Death Situation")
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors, Career Achievement Award, 2009; Writing Awards 2006 ("Will We Ever Arrive at the Good Death?"), 2005 (Pandora's Baby), and 1994 (A Dancing Matrix); June Roth Awards 2005 ("The Quest to Forget"), 1994 (A Dancing Matrix), and 1993 ("Flu Pandemic")
  • Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Book Prize, History of Science Society, 2006 (Pandora's Baby)
  • Science-in-Society Award, National Association of Science Writers, 2006 (Pandora's Baby) and 2005 ("The Quest to Forget")
  • National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, 2001 (The Monk in the Garden)
  • Goodchild Prize for Excellent English, The Queen's English Society, finalist, 2001 (The Monk in the Garden)
  • Journalism Research Fellowship, The Alicia Patterson Foundation, 2001
  • Officer's Grant, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, 1998-99



  • Freelance Writer specializing in science and medicine, 1980-present
  • Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine, 2005-present
  • Science Editor, Virginia Quarterly Review, 2014-2017
  • Blogger, Psychology Today, 2012-present
  • Member, Board of Contributors, USA Today editorial board, 1997-2002
  • Features and News Editor, BioScience magazine, 1978-80
  • Washington Correspondent, Human Behavior magazine, 1978-79
  • Assistant Managing Editor and NIH Reporter, "The Blue Sheet," 1977-78
  • Assistant Editor, The New Physician magazine, 1975-77
  • Associate Editor, Comprehensive Therapy magazine, 1974-75



  • National Association of Science Writers, President, 2014-2016; Vice President, 2012-2014; Board of Directors, 1998-2010
  • Science Journalism Program, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, Co-Director, 2010-2016; Board of Directors, 2006-2010
  • Alicia Patterson Foundation, Board of Directors, 2016-present
  • Simons Foundation, Journalism Advisory Board, 2014-present
  • Girls Write Now, one-on-one writing mentorship of a NYC high school student, 2008-2015
  • PEN/E.O. Wilson Award in Literary Science Writing, judge, 2016
  • J. Anthony Lucas Book Prize, judge, work-in-progress award, 2010
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize, judge, science & technology award, 2001-2003



  • Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, IL, M.S.J., major in magazine writing, 1974
  • Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, Ithaca, NY, A.B., major in English, 1973