I am a writer and historian living in Los Angeles.
I write fiction and non-fiction. I give lectures and run workshops. I curate exhibits, conduct interviews and oral histories, and collaborate with scholars, writers, and museum professionals to make cool things.
In all of these projects, I focus on the ways that technology, science, and medicine have operated in American culture. I am always trying to figure out some answer to questions about knowledge, power, and human relationships. How is it that we come to know what is happening inside our bodies? What tools do we use? How do we control them (or not)? What kinds of stories do we tell about our selves and our past? Are they true? And, whether they’re true or not, what effect do our histories have on our future?
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When I was eight years old, I saw Jurassic Park at the Queensgate movie theater in York, Pennsylvania. When Ian Malcolm scolded John Hammond’s research agenda, it was the first time I ever thought about the fact that scientific work was a thing that was actively organized and directed. It was also the first time I had ever thought about whether or not scientific discovery was unquestionably good.
Ever since, I've been motivated by the questions that Jurassic Park helped me to ask for the first time. What are unintended and unpredictable consequences of science and its tools? How do we come to believe that we can know the world, and to be trusted to manipulate it? What is our relationship to the past? And, most importantly, what are our responsibilities with respect to the knowledge and the technologies that we create?
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I have a PhD in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Chicago.