Michael Specter has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. His most recent book, “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” was published on October 29, 2009. Specter writes often about science, technology, and public health. Since joining the magazine, he has written several articles about the global AIDS epidemic, as well as about avian influenza, malaria, and the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, synthetic biology and the debate over the meaning of our carbon footprint. He has also published many Profiles, of subjects including Lance Armstrong, the ethicist Peter Singer, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Manolo Blahnik, and Miuccia Prada.
Specter came to The New Yorker from the New York Times, where he had been a roving foreign correspondent based in Rome. From 1995 to 1998, Specter served as the Times Moscow bureau chief. He came to the Times from the Washington Post, where, from 1985 to 1991, he covered local news, before becoming the Post’s national science reporter and, later, the newspaper’s New York bureau chief. In 1996 he won the Overseas Press Club’s Citation for Excellence for his reporting from Chechnya. He has twice received the Global Health Council’s annual Excellence in Media Award, first for his 2001 article about AIDS, “India’s Plague,” and secondly for his 2004 article “The Devastation,” about the ethics of testing H.I.V. vaccines in Africa. He also received the 2002 AAAS Science Journalism Award, for his article, “Rethinking the Brain,” about the scientific basis of how we learn.
He lives in New York.