An Epidemic of Fear: The Aftermath

Wired, November 2009


In 2009 Wired published a brave piece by Amy Wallace entitled, “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All.” The piece was hugely controversial — a year later, readers were still sending letters about it.

In the weeks following the story’s publication, Wired launched a blog, which I edited, providing some of the background reporting that didn’t make it into the story. A group of reporters also answered readers’ questions and covered news of a mumps epidemic in New York.

As the editor of Wired‘s letters section, I was also charged with condensing close to 1,000 reader responses into two pages in the print magazine. Read that letters section here. I discussed the challenges of editing that section in this Storyboard podcast.

Why Things Suck

Wired, February 2008


Journalists love to kvetch, so it’s no surprise that Wired published a cover package called “Why Things Suck.” The package, which I co-created, aimed to explain the scientific reasons that, for example, office printers jam or human knees fail. In addition to editing several pieces, I explained why your tomatoes taste terrible (short answer: because you’re eating them in February!) and why fertility treatments fail so often (short answer: gametes are fragile).

Talk of the Nation: Return to Sender


National Public Radio, November 2008

For years, Wired invited readers to send us artwork through the mail, sans packaging. It was partly a test to see what the USPS would handle. Over the years we received everything from a surfboard to a giant DNA helix to a navel orange. When we discontinued the contest in 2008, I wrote about its demise in the magazine. Then I discussed it with Neal Conan on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation.

Red Herring

I joined Red Herring, a monthly magazine about the business of technology, during the ascent of the dotcom bubble. First I managed the magazine’s sizeable editorial research team, which provided data-driven stories to the print and online divisions of the magazine. Later, I edited Forward, the magazine’s front-of-the-book section. Below, some of my writing clips:

The battle over digital television, September 2002 [PDF]

Branding for dummies: August 2002 [PDF]

Palm’s recovery strategy just might work: January 2002 [PDF]

How to protect your DNA from unauthorized use, October 2001 [PDF]

Dinner with The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell: March 2001

Venture capital in Washington: October 2000 [PDF]

Scandal at Utah tech company Cimetrix: September 2000

Oxygen Media goes for gold: May 2000