Some of my articles and essays for various publications can be found at the links below.
- The Social Era of the Web Starts Now (June 2011). An introduction to IEEE Spectrum’s special report on the rise of the new social web.
- Ray Kurzweil’s Slippery Futurism (December 2010). The National Medal of Technology recipient has a reputation as a stunningly prescient tech visionary, which is part of why his predictions of a coming Singularity carry so much credibility. But an examination of his track record to date suggests that his prophecies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
- SA Perspectives: “Okay, We Give Up” (April 2005). A satirical response to anti-scientific criticisms.
- Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Integrity Displayed (April 9, 2008) and Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn’t Want You to Know… (with Steve Mirsky). Takedowns of the deplorable antievolution film. A related podcast interview is here.
- 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense (July 2002) (SciAm archive preview). Debunking some of the most common false arguments against evolution science.
- Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense (Nov. 30, 2009). Refutations of some common false arguments against climate change concerns. A related podcast interview is here.
- A Response to Lomborg’s Rebuttal (April 15, 2002). My lengthy refutation of Bjorn Lomborg’s own lengthy dismissal of the critical article Misleading Math about the Earth (Jan. 2002).
- The Cold Odds against Columbia (Feb. 7, 2003). My commentary on the senselessness of the Columbia shuttle disaster.
- My Moon Landing (July 2009). My farewell essay for Scientific American.
- See No Evil (May 2009). An essay: Primates can be dangerous, especially the human ones.
- Qatar to get cord-blood bank, thanks to Virgin’s Branson (March 17, 2009). News story from Doha.
- Dennis Flanagan, a Proud ‘Renaissance Hack’ (Jan. 25, 2005). Obituary for one of the founders of the modern Scientific American.
- Bubbles at the Edge of Space: Merav Opher is Changing Astrophysics (Feb. 26, 2012). A profile of the remarkable plasma physicist whose work has altered astronomers’ ideas about the shape of the solar system.
- Sunken Treasure: The Deep Sea Mining Renaissance (Dec. 5, 2011). People have been dreaming of tapping immense mineral wealth at the bottom of the ocean for decades but attempts to do so died hard in the 1980s. A new generation of entrepreneurs think they can now do it by going after formations around deep sea hydrothermal vents. Can they do it without ruining unique ecosystems?
- Google’s Driverless Car Has Its Head in the Clouds (Nov. 3, 2011). On the distributed computing technology that helps Google’s experimental vehicles pilot themselves without human assistance.
- OMG Glowing Cats! Fluorescent Felines Illuminate Medical Mysteries (Oct. 17, 2011). A glowing fluorescent jellyfish protein has become a major tool of biomedical research—though, yes, it also makes cool glowing animals.
- The Ice That Burns: Are Methane Hydrates the Next Big Resource? (May 27, 2011). A look at the potential for methane hydrates to become a commercially significant source of natural gas in the future.
- Time for change in science journalism?, The Guardian online (Jan. 26, 2011). My argument that professional science journalism needs to become less dependent on journal press releases.
- Should there be less science news?, Association of British Science Writers web site (Nov. 16, 2009). A debate with Jenny Leonard, editor of Futurity.com.
- Fossils of Early Man: The Finds and the News, The New York Times (June 25, 1996). Review of an exhibit on human evolution at the American Museum of Natural History.