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  • 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
  • Co-Organizer, workshop on race and science journalism, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing annual meeting, via Zoom, October 2021
  • Co-Organizer and Moderator, workshop on ethics and science journalism, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing annual meeting, via Zoom, October 2020
  • Speaker, workshop on freelance writing during the coronavirus pandemic, American Society of Journalists and Authors, via Zoom, April 25, 2020
  • 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, 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 finalist, 2020 ("The Agony and, Yes, the Ecstasy of Menopause"); 2018 ("Rethinking Gender," lead story in team entry from National Geographic)
  • National Academies Communications Award finalist, 2018 ("Rethinking Gender"); 2010 ("What's Wrong With Summer Stiers?")
  • 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")
  • New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship finalist, Non-Fiction Literature, 2014
  • 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, 2014-2018
  • Blogger, Psychology Today, 2012-2017
  • 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
  • PEN in the Schools, volunteer at NYC high schools, 2018-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