September 2022

9,000 bird flu events worldwide. 1 billion chickens in an area one-quarter the size of Alabama. Poultry farmers mixing human flu viruses with birds’. Experts say it’s a recipe for disaster.

For The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

photo credit: Roy Slaterus [Sovon]


How the Shipping Industry Sails Through Legal Loopholes

May 2022

Explanatory feature on how the industry evades EU law to dump its toxic ships on poor countries.
Hakai magazine


April 2022

My third feature on how European cities are transforming their mobility networks for a climate-constrained future concerns Paris's new Plan Vélo.

 illustration by Bill Brown


December 2021

For MIT's Undark:

How lockdown-induced stress in pregnant women will likely echo in the health of American kids across the course of their lives. 

Photo credit: Jeffrey Basinger/Newsday RM via Getty Images


October 2021

A reported essay on why I defected from California to the Netherlands.
illustration by Nancy Hope


August 2021

For Businessweek's annual special "Cities" issue: The political perils of climate-fueled and Covid-accelerated lifestyle upgrades (with Marc Herman)

illustration by Baptiste Virot


April 2021

Inside Israel's Aleph Farms, which aims to be the first purveyor of restaurant-quality cultivated meat.


January 2021

For Nature: Regulators will soon grapple with how to safely administer powerful psychedelics for treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.


January 2021

For the new social justice-focused magazine Red Canary, my longtime colleague Marc Herman & I wrote about efforts in European cities to oust motorized traffic from their centers.


October 2020

For Popular Science, how small satellites are now enabling detection and measurement of oil-industry emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane.


September 2020

I traveled to five cities over five months to report this 6,000-word feature for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


August 2020

Although salmon and shrimp farming dominate conversations in the Global North, they represent just 10% of global aquaculture production. Entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia are showing a better way. 

This article was part of a package that won 2nd place for explanatory reporting, small newsrrom, from the Society of Environmental Journalists. 

With Htoo Tay Zar


July 2020

Assigned for The New Yorker's print publication, for reasons beyond my control I was unable to get this done in a timeframe that worked for their schedule so it ended up on the website only.


June 2020

By May 2020, it looked like the Dutch had beaten coronavirus without the extreme measures of other countries. How'd they do that?

The original draft I submitted to my editor is here. No shade, just showing the longer version with more comparisons to the US


April 2020

On current efforts to commercialize psychedelics as pharmaceuticals.


March 2020

Feature for Bloomberg Green on the health effects of pre-harvest burning of sugar crops.
(Link is to Bloomberg Quint to get around the paywall.)


December 2019

Feature in TheAtlantic.com on why U.S. jails are illegally holding people with mental illness before they are convicted or even tried of any crime.


November 2019

Feature in Scientific American on how Russia or a non-state actor could bring the US to its knees without firing a shot.

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October 2019

Feature for MIT Technology Review on a DARPA program to develop a non-invasive brain-computer interface.

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August 2019

Feature in Bloomberg Businessweek's special issue on the Periodic Table.


April, 2019

Feature profile of the Democratic presidential candidate for Wired.com's Backchannel


March 2019

I traveled to Madagascar for National Geographic's Wildlife Watch to report on how gem mining in a protected area is endangering lemurs.


March 2019

For 5280, Denver's ASME-award wininng city magazine.


February 2019

For The Guardian (UK) "Long Read," I examined the growth of the world's most ubiquitous invisible commodity.

"The best thing written about the issue that I've read." —George McGavin, Ph.D  

audio version here


September 2018

I traveled to Raratonga to report on a scientific experiment to determine why some coral reefs survive bleaching events and other human insults. Assigned by the California Academy of Sciences' bioGraphic and co-published by Scientific American.


July 2018

I examined the global economy's dependence on the vulnerable GPS system in a feature for Bloomberg Businessweek.


Februrary 2018

In a feature for Car & Driver I explored investors' love affair with the EV manufacturer.


Februrary 2018

Will robots replace humans of arbiters of culture, beauty, and refinement? For Town & Country


March 2017

For Bloomberg Businessweek, on the race to get the mineral out of Clayton Valley and into your iPhones and Teslas


March 2017

Silicon Valley's quest to cure death.


June 2016

For Nature, a profile of a scientist using mass spectrometry to explore the microbiome.


April 2016

For Scientific American, a report from the iconic islands on the difficulties of managing a boom in eco-tourism.


June 2015

For Participant Media, on Google's venture with Jane Goodall showing the promise—and limits—of data and devices in the fight against deforestation.


March 2015

For The New York Times Magazine, a profile of the iconic scientist and conservationist. Winner of the Deadline Club's award for best magazine profile.

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May 2014

For Participant Media, on wildlife biologists' call on animal parks to do more for conservation.


March 2014

For Participant Media: The first medicine developed straight from pot plants is poised for FDA approval. What would that mean for medical cannabis, legalization, and patients in need?


September 2013

A cover story for The New York Times Magazine on uncovering the science behind how forest fires spread

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August 2013

For The New York Times Sunday Business section, on a new technology to turn garbage into energy

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March 2013

I went to Madrid and Barcelona to explore a Republican billionaire's plan to build a giant hotel and casino complex, pitched as a savior for the regions' sagging economies.


January 2013

For The New York Times Magazine, an exclusive on the first capital criminal case to go through a pre-adjudication restorative justice process.
"An incredible story, masterfully told."—Dave Eggers


October 2012

For The New York Times Magazine, a look at how social media popularized a treatment for multiple sclerosis absent any scientific evidence


November 2011

For Bloomberg Businessweek, an examination of the (weak) economics of the proposed pipeline


March 2011

For Fast Company, on the addition of environmental data to the media giant's terminal for the financial industry



An examination of the controversial plan to save Southern California's water supply from an overdue earthquake, in Pacific Standard



In Pacific Standard, a profile of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions



For Sierra, a look at L.A.'s effort to transition to renewable energy



Cover story for the L.A. Times Magazine on the commercialization of yoga


November 1997

For New York magazine, a profile of an up-and-coming fiction writer

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October 1995

My first feature for a major magazine (New York) was rather salubriously edited, to my regret. But I think it shows some (perhaps not entirely fulfilled) precociousness.

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