Greetings, all! I am thrilled to be unveiling Body Politic here on PLoS Blogs and am honored to share this platform with some truly amazing scientists and journalists. I hope to start some thought-provoking discussions and learn as much, if not more, from you as I hope you’ll learn from me.
Most of you don’t know me, so let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a freelance science and health journalist and write for magazines including Scientific American, Nature Medicine, Slate, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Glamour, Redbook, and O: The Oprah magazine. Although my audience varies widely—Nature Medicine and Glamour don’t share many of the same readers, except perhaps me—I find that the topics I most love to write about are relevant and important for everyone. The question that gets me up every morning is this: are the things we put into our bodies each day safe and appropriately regulated?
I’ve reported on many issues related to chemical and infectious exposures, drugs, and food, such as questionable farming practices, poisonous corn syrup, cell phones and cancer cover-ups, the over-use of statins and their cognitive side-effects, acid blocker dangers, infections causing mental illness, the hygiene hypothesis, sex-biased research, and the unfair demonization of fat, among other things. I do most of my writing in my Brooklyn apartment, which I share with my husband Michael, an editor at Scientific American, and my two-year-old border collie mix Henry, who sleeps by my side as I work.
As I have learned in my five years as a journalist, health issues are incredibly complex. That’s why so much media coverage is inaccurate or misleading—a single finding needs to be picked apart and put into context. As a freelancer, I’m lucky, because I typically have enough time to dig and digest the emerging science, and that extra time and effort is what I hope will make this blog stand out (in addition to its fabulous banner, which was designed by the amazing Kityee Au-Yeung. Thank you Kit!). I also have a background in cell and molecular biology, which helps me decipher the science.
Ultimately, I want to bring the world a nuanced, informed perspective about the things we are exposed on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy Body Politic and that it will ultimately keep you and your families healthier.