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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Weighing The Promises Of Big Genomics

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.

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...

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.

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.

Robin Marantz Henig’s gorgeous story on a woman facing one death to dodge another

daviddobbs.net — Robin Marantz Henig is at her superb best in " The Last Day of Her Life," a NY Times Magazine feature about a remarkable woman, Sandy Bern, who decides she'll end her life before she loses her self to Alzheimer's. At one point, as Bern's power fades, her daughter, Emily, gives birth to Bern's first grandchild.

The Atavist Magazine

What happiness looks like - Jake Marisnick’s catch in deep center

daviddobbs.net — Is anyone having more fun at anything that Jake Marisnick is having playing baseball right now? Make sure to watch after the catch for a) Marisnick's smile as he runs back to the dugout and b) the reaction of pitcher Colin McHugh.

Facts are sacred

business-standard.com — GALILEO'S MIDDLE FINGER Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science Alice Dreger Penguin Press; 337 pages; $27.95 "Soon enough," Alice Dreger writes at the beginning of her romp of a book, "I will get to the death threats, the sex charges, the alleged genocides, the epidemics, the alien abductees, the anti-lesbian drug, the unethical ethicists, the fight with Martina Navratilova and, of course, Galileo's middle finger.

A rowdy, harrowing, vital book: My Times review of ‘Galileo’s Middle Finger,’ by Alice Dreger.

daviddobbs.net — I've a review of Alice Dreger's latest book in this week's New York Times Sunday Book Review; it just appeared online. As is so often the case, what got ­Dreger into trouble was sex. A historian of science and medicine, she criticized a group of transgender activists who had attacked a sex researcher for his findings on why some people want to change gender.
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May 23, 2015

@westr @EricTopol None taken, Robert, and thanks. But I don’t think my sampling was particuarly warped. Complaints were volunteers over yrs

May 23, 2015

RT @DrRubidium: This look from Obama. Pretty sure it's the same one he throws at Congress when they pull some bullshit. twitter.com/BenjaminFMoser…

May 23, 2015

RT @arishapiro: If you're in the US & just joining, Ireland is the 1st country in the world to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. More…

May 22, 2015

@dgmacarthur @cfchabris If you so distrust my honesty & intentions, & those of your critics, further discussion seems futile. G’night.

May 22, 2015

RT @dgmacarthur: @David_Dobbs @cfchabris The comedic value derives from being insulting; you're a good enough writer that I know that wasn't accidental.

May 22, 2015

RT @dgmacarthur: @David_Dobbs @cfchabris Because it panders to the prejudices of scientists who resent the funding success of genomics.

May 22, 2015

@dgmacarthur @cfchabris “deliberately” asserts intent. I meant it as comic framing to make a pt, partly in sympathy re complexity revealed.

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