As a science writer 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, and to try to interest general readers in the many ways in which the sciences can make our world better.
Currently, book writing is my chief endeavor, although nothing’s better than stumbling on a good and important reason for an article. My most recent trade book The Proteus Effect; Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine 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, which I co-authored with Rudolph Tanzi, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and a book on women’s health co-authored with Dr. Isaac Schiff, Chief of Obstetrics, Mass General Hospital. Each book was considered a leader among comparable titles.
I’ve just completed my first fiction, The Birds of Dog, an historical novel that takes place in Boston in the mid 1800s and shines a light on the beginning days of the sciences.
Between 2008 & 2012 I wrote five commissioned family 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 Science, National Geographic on-line News, and The Dana Foundation, not to leave out Boston Review, a publication I helped launch in the 1970s.
Teaching has always been the best of experiences. From 1990 to 1998, I taught science writing (adjunct professor) in Boston University's graduate program in science journalism, and, previous to that, magazine writing at Emerson College and creative writing for various adult-ed classes. Memberships include National Association of Science Writers, New England Science Writers, the Society of Environmental Journalists. As for pure fun: biking and hiking, travel, and anything ocean-related.
Ann B. Parson