Deborah Blum


Author; Science Journalism Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer prize-winning science writer and the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches classes ranging from science writing to creative non-fiction and is the author of four books and co-editor of a popular guide to science journalism. Her latest book, The Poisoner's Handbook, published in February, was named by Amazon as one of the Top 100 books of 2010 and is a featured selection of five book clubs ranging from Scientific American Books to the Mystery Guild Book Club.

Her previous books include Ghost Hunters: William James and the Scientific Search for Life after Death, which was published in 2006 in the United States, and 2007 in Great Britain, Germany, China and Korea; Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection, which was a 2002 finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Sex on the Brain, a 1997 New York Times Notable Book, and The Monkey Wars, a 1994 Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book. She is also co-editor of A Field Guide for Science Writers, which was published in a second edition in 2006.

Before joining the university in 1997, she was a science writer for The Sacramento Bee, where she won the Pulitzer in 1992 for her reporting on ethical issues in primate research. She has also written for The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Discover, Science News, and New Scientist. She has appeared as a guest on The Today show, Good Morning America, and NPR's This American Life, Morning Edition, and Talk of the Nation/Science Friday.

For her work in science communication, Blum has been named a lifetime association of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She serves on the board of the Council for Advancement of Science Writing and the board of the World Federation of Science Journalists. She is a past-president of the National Association of Science Writers and currently serves as international liaison for that organization, in which capacity she is currently working as program chair for the World Conference of Science Journalists-Cairo 2011. Website:, Twitter: @deborahblum.