A conversation with “Fantastic Lab” author Arthur Allen about typhus, “thought collectives,” and his odyssey through obscure medical archives and the Nazi claptrap.

On a recent Sunday morning, I sat down with Arthur Allen over coffee at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, to talk about his latest book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis. (Read my brief review in Science News.) The two scientists in the […]

Check out my three recent reviews in Science News of some pretty decent reads.

In all my spare time, I’ve managed to read a few interesting science books lately and you can catch up on my reviews in Science News. The above image, from Arthur Allen’s latest book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, is one of the lice-feeders in Rudolf Weigl’s typhus-vaccine lab in Nazi-occupied Poland. Yes, those are matchboxes strapped to her […]

Why you never see a flock of hummingbirds and five other things I learned about teeny hummers from Noah Strycker’s “The Thing With Feathers”

According to Strycker, whose entertaining new book I reviewed recently for ScienceNews, hummingbirds generally lead solitary lives and are “stubbornly unsociable.” And they sure don’t go in for any mushy mute-swan mating-for-life hooey. They dispense with copulation in a jiffy and then females and males occupy separate territories thereafter. Now that you think about it, […]

Bedeviled by unhealthy habits? “Disease Proof” offers a practicum to prevent chronic disease.

After sweating a monsoon in a cycling class at the gym I was wondering why the instructor looked so familiar when I suddenly realized that she was indeed an old friend named Stacey Colino, whom I hadn’t seen since journalism school. While we were catching up, she mentioned that she recently co-authored a book with David […]

The RIPE Stuff

One of the best gifts I received this year was a flat of tomato seedlings from Arthur Allen, author of RIPE: The Search for the Perfect Tomato. After several years of tomato blight in our urban DC garden, my husband and I were excited to receive the plants in April from Art, who, let’s face […]

What Copernicus Saw in the Revolutions

Fact: The book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, in which Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 laid out his blueprint for the “marvelous symmetry of the universe,” was not banned outright by the Catholic Church, but rather listed on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1616 as “suspended until corrected” – and remained there for more than […]