Other articles I’ve written

Harvard Magazine

Blanche Ames. Brief life of an intrepid botanical illustrator: 1878-1969

Published in Harvard Magazine, July–August, 2017

Blanche Ames

BLANCHE (AMES) AMES and her husband, Oakes Ames, professor of botany at Harvard and director of the Arnold Arboretum, were in the middle of the Yucatan jungle when their car stalled. As Oakes and the driver stood by helplessly, Blanche pulled a hairpin from her chignon, extracted a bullet from her revolver, and set to repairing the carburetor. She started the car—to this day, no one knows how—and the expedition continued.

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Oliver Sacks

Curiouser and curiouser: A cup of tea with Oliver Sacks

Published at ted.com, May 23, 2016.

A memorable conversation with Oliver Sacks reveals what might have been his greatest attribute: undying curiosity.

I remember knocking at his door, nervously clutching an inscribed copy of my book The Philosophical Breakfast Club and a bag from a local chocolatier. I hoped I had chosen my gifts well. He had written to tell me how much he enjoyed reading the book — he had even put it on a list of “Five Science Biographies that Inspired Me” — and I remembered hearing somewhere that he adored dark chocolate. I was nervous: Would I bore him? Was I wrong about the chocolate?

Out popped Oliver Sacks, peering at me uncertainly. His prosopagnosia, or face blindness, made him unable to recognize me from my author photo. When I told him who I was, he engulfed me in a great big bear hug. Pulling back, he gestured to his faded T-shirt from the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. “I wore this in your honor,” he proudly announced, knowing that I was finishing up a book about science and art in the Dutch Golden Age.

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Gift Guide: Science Books

My picks for holiday books about science appeared in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. You can see which 2012 releases I suggest for gift giving here.

Philosophical Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners . . . and More

 

TED Global 2012 Edinburgh

TED Global 2012 Edinburgh

After I returned from TED Global this summer, I was asked to contribute a piece about my experiences at TED by the magazine Design Mind. It has just come out, and can be read here.

 

Science as a Social Activity

A blog post I wrote, ‘Science as a Social Activity,’ for the Royal Institution of Australia, in advance of their book club discussion of The Philosophical Breakfast Club on November 16, is now up on their website, here.

I’m pleased they are offering the opportunity to send in questions for me, which I will be answering during an interview we will be conducting by video in the next few weeks, and which will be played during the book club meeting. More details on that to follow!