Ann Parson .  Science Writer

Books: Science & Medicine; Histories & Biographies   |    Selected Articles   |    About

The Proteus Effect
Stem Cells
and Their Promise for Medicine

Partisan Scientist, 1912-1975

The Search for the Genetic
Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

A bestseller in the field
of Women's Health

Man of The Future, 1921-2008
Ten Generations of the Pickering Family
of Salem, 1651 to 2001

The Lymans and The Vale,
1631 to 1951
Remembering the Concordia
yawl Halcyon
and Other Kin, 1638 to 1938
Photograph by Austin Hoyt
2009, Digging, something that Ann loves to do, both as a science writer and a gardener.
During my two-plus decades as a science journalist, I've covered a range of topics in the areas of medicine, technology, the environment, and other sciences.  I wouldn't trade what I do for anything. My profession gives me an excuse to be extra curious about the natural forces that surround us, to ask lots of dumb questions, and to try and draw general readers into the same circle of wonderment.
Since 1990, book writing has been my chief endeavor, although I fit in articles whenever possible. My most recent trade book, The Proteus Effect; Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine (published by The National Academy of Sciences, Joseph Henry Press) was nominated for a LA Times Book Prize and named to Library Journal's annual list of best Science-Technology books. Earlier books include Decoding Darkness; The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Disease (Perseus Books), which I co-authored with neuroscientist Rudolph Tanzi, Director of the Genetics & Aging Research Unit, Mass General Hospital, and a book on women's health, Menopause (Times Books/Random House), co-authored with Dr. Isaac Schiff, Chief of Gynecology & Obstetrics at Mass General.
Between 2008 & 2012, I was commissioned to write five histories/biographies, each privately printed. First came three New England families: the Lymans, the Wigglesworths, and the Pickerings. Biographies of two outstanding engineers followed: Mortimer Rogoff, a pioneer of GPS and cell-phone technology; and Antonio Ferri, the unparalleled "father" of supersonic and hypersonic flight.
My career started when I landed the job of photography reviewer for The Boston Phoenix. Before long, I was writing about the environment, and soon broadened into the entire landscape of science-technology.  Publications/organizations written for include The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Boston Herald, San Diego Union-Tribune, Harvard Health Letter, McCalls, The Baltimore Sun, the journals Cell, Cell Stem Cell, and The Journal of Life Sciences, National Geographic on-line News, and The Dana Foundation, not to leave out Boston Review, a publication I helped start in the 1970s and for which I served as managing editor.
Photograph by Susan Perry
My experience extends to annual reports and other special bulletins, as well as to teaching. From 1990 to 1998, an adjunct professor, I taught science writing for newspapers in Boston University's graduate program in science journalism, and, previous to that, taught magazine writing at Emerson College. Memberships include National Assoc. of Science Writers, New England Science Writers, and the Society of Environmental Journalists.  As for pure fun: biking and hiking, travel, and anything ocean-related. I live near a harbor in South Dartmouth, Mass., and have a getaway near another harbor in Brooklin, Maine.

Ann B. Parson

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