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I write on science, books, medicine, sports, & other culture for NY Times, NatGeo, Slate, PacificStand, Aeon, others. Papa. Birder. Wee wry dumpling.

David Dobbs's Biography

David Dobbs writes features and essays for publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, Slate, Wired.com, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. Several of his stories have been chosen for leading science anthologies; most recently, his much-discussed feature for the Atlantic, "The Orchid Children," was selected by Jerome Groopman for Ecco/HarperPerennial's Best American Science Writing 2010. He is now writing a book, working title ...

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My Mother’s Lover

read.atavist.com — On her deathbed, David Dobbs's mother Evelyn Jane revealed a secret she'd kept for 60 years about the man she had truly loved, and lost. His name was Norman "Angus" Zahrt, a married World War II flight surgeon with whom she'd engaged in a secret love affair, just before he deployed to the Pacific and disappeared.

Roberta Payne on the art of schizophrenia

daviddobbs.net — Roberta Payne, author of the superb memoir Speaking to My Madness, did the cover art on the current issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin. The issue also runs an essay she wrote about "schizophrenic art." I once drew on poster-size paper a gracefully diagonal, writhing black eel. So far, conventional structure that any artist might have planned.
Jul 29, 2015

Roberta Payne on the art of schizophrenia | Neuron Culture j.mp/1eAuNOU

The New York Times

nytimes.com — When Dr. Alan Schiller's 87-year-old mother died in January, "it took some convincing," Schiller says, to get his siblings to agree to an autopsy. "They said: 'She had Alzheimer's. Let her rest.' But I told them: 'No, something seems funny to me. An autopsy is the only way to be sure."' Schiller prevailed.

What we talk about when we talking about killing Obamacare

daviddobbs.net — We're actually talking about killing our neighbors. Late this month the Supreme Court is expected to rule on King v Burwell, a suit financed by the conservative right that seeks to use some trivial inconsistencies in phrasing to gut Obamacare in 37 states and possibly cripple it nationwide.
Jun 12, 2015

What we talk about when we talk about killing Obamacare. | A wee angry, even after deleting the F words. j.mp/1L2KGJ1

The limits of genetics - my essay at Buzzfeed

daviddobbs.net — A bit late to my own story here, as a reporting trip intervened, but but a couple weeks ago I wrote an essay for Buzzfeed about the overselling of medical genomics, which goes beyond hype in a way that distorts funding, science, and the public's ideas about genetics.

What Is Your DNA Worth

buzzfeed.com — "Success in sight: The eyes have it!" Thus the scientific journal Gene Therapy greeted the news, in 2008, that an experimental treatment was restoring vision to 12 people born with a congenital disorder that slowly left them blind. Healthy genes were injected to replace the faulty mutations in the patients' retinas, allowing an 8-year-old to ride a bike for the first time.
May 21, 2015

I've a new piece up @Buzzfeed: Weighing The Promises Of Big Genomics. j.mp/1IN17LA

May 21, 2015

RT @David_Dobbs: I've a new piece up @Buzzfeed: Weighing The Promises Of Big Genomics. j.mp/1IN17LA

May 21, 2015

Of genetics "we basically know diddly-squat." I know - rough talk. But not a radical position. Me @buzzfeed. j.mp/1IN17LA

May 21, 2015

RT @David_Dobbs: Of genetics "we basically know diddly-squat." I know - rough talk. But not a radical position. Me @buzzfeed. j.mp/1IN17LA

May 21, 2015

When a geneticist says, “We know almost nothing of genetics," stop overhyping the genomic revolution: j.mp/1SicXjT by @David_Dobbs

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The Wrong Stuff: NASA Dismisses Arsenic Critique Because Critical Priest Not Standing on Altar

daviddobbs.net — A NASA spokesperson has dismissed a major critique of the Science arsenic bug paper based not on the criticism's merits, but on its venue - it appeared in a blog rather than a peer-reviewed journal. Apparently ideas are valid (or not) based not on their content, or even the reputation of the author, but on where they're published.

Researcher Caught Up in Fraud Case Punches Back

wired.com — When a researcher fudges data or engages in other fraudulent behavior, among those most wronged are the collaborators who did nothing wrong. Often there are many. Their reputations and careers can suffer horribly; they experience a horrible betrayal by someone they put enormous trust in; and they feel compelled to remain silent, lest they court...
May 20, 2015

RT @hardsci: No idea what Don Green is going through now but this @David_Dobbs piece on innocent collabs of frauds seems relevant wired.com/2012/06/resear…

The New York Times > Magazine > Buried Answers

nytimes.com — hen Dr. Alan Schiller's 87-year-old mother died in January, ''it took some convincing,'' Schiller says, to get his siblings to agree to an autopsy. ''They said: 'She had Alzheimer's. Let her rest.' But I told them: 'No, something seems funny to me. An autopsy is the only way to be sure.''' Schiller prevailed.
May 19, 2015

@Casillic Indeed. Do attend one if you get the chance. Riveting. I describe one I saw in longer piece: nytimes.com/2005/04/24/mag…

We Need More Autopsies, to Help Save the Living

nautil.us — When Italian authorities confirmed that James Gandolfini had just died in Rome of an apparent heart attack in 2013, many reports in American media fronted the fact that Gandolfini's body would be autopsied, "as required by Italian law." They emphasized this news for understandable reasons-an autopsy on someone who died in medical care seemed unusual.
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Sep 04, 2015

RT @BuzzFeedNews: .@UN Food Program Sends Text Messages To Syrian Refugees In Jordan Saying They Will No Longer Get Food buzzfeed.com/magedatef/un-f…

Sep 03, 2015

@jgold85 just unfollowed you six times. Don’t wanna see that.

Sep 03, 2015

For the past few days we've had the pleasure of watching this robin, shown here in our driveway this… instagram.com/p/7LZ2_BzQ7z/

Sep 03, 2015

Flickr’s “magic” Camera Roll feature is quite slick: All my landscape shots together, eg. Top subcategory? “Snow”: j.mp/1Fl6trK

Sep 03, 2015

@Winooski It’s not a perfect story, but it forcefully shows how dreadful the system is, & the horrid cost to those most at need.

Sep 03, 2015

@michaelhoffman Not the app, but the ability to listen to my favorite music anywhere. Now it’s utterly hit & miss.

Sep 03, 2015

Trail 'em, Nail 'em, Jail 'em: How We Treat Mental Illness huffingtonpost.com/david-muhammad…. Enormously damning.

Sep 02, 2015

RT @nprfreshair: 'NeuroTribes' Examines The History — And Myths — Of The Autism Spectrum n.pr/1JAcWDj @stevesilberman

Sep 02, 2015

@taylordobbs @lhtorres @toriahouston Thanks. Wanted to cc Tori but knew there was an initial there but couldn't recall.


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