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FishbowlDC Interview: Dina Fine Maron

Here in DC, we tend to get obsessed with politics and scandal. And drinking. But there’s more to This Town than just the usual crimes being committed by the usual suspects. There’s also Science! Scientific American -beloved of dentist office waiting rooms across America – hired their first DC-based Associate Editor, Dina Fine Maron, a few months ago. She’s been hard at work since trying to make the city -and the country -a little bit smarter. A futile effort, we know! But you have to admire a gal who tries.

Maron writes about health, medicine and biology, and has previously reported for Newsweek, Time.com, Greenwire, ClimateWire, Science News and The Boston Globe. Her coverage on mental illness and stigma for Newsweek was awarded the Outstanding Media Award for 2009 from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We asked Dina to sit down and answer some questions for our FishbowlDC interview. Read, and be entertained!

You’re about to be served your last meal. What will it be? If it’s my last meal, I’d kind of like to make it myself. Cooking can be soothing, especially if it’s going to be the final thing I do. I’d go with fried green tomatoes, fettucine, chocolate cake and then top it all off with popcorn. That’s a must. I love popcorn.

Who should TIME make 2013 Person of the Year? Kiribati. The tiny collection of islands is heavily populated and poised to be swept away by the Pacific so we might as well recognize it while we can.

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Why? My brother says I’m like a corona chased with adderall and beta blockers. I write about medicine so it works.

You’re developing a signature scent. What would you call the cologne? Chutzpah. Because, why not?

Who or what inspires you? The kindness of strangers, people that continue to pick up trash off the street and the metro, my family, and beautiful writing.

What’s your favorite band, song or musical genre? I’m a big fan of Sara Bareilles and Matt Nathanson these days.

What word(s) do you routinely misspell? Misspell…are you sure that’s right? I’m just going to google to double-check.

What swear word do you use most often? I’ll tell you what word should be a swear – moist. I hate that word. But I’m a creative gal, I like to diversify my expletives.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? When Winston was wearing a hoodie as pants on the show ‘New Girl.’

How often do you Google yourself? I’ll let the NSA answer that one for me.

If you could influence journalism in one way right now what would it be? I’d push for more mentoring. I worry with the proliferation of freelancers right out of school that young journalists don’t receive as much mentoring as they once did.

Ever been arrested? Nope. I have gotten sent to jail a lot in Monopoly though.

What and where was your first job? Being a kid. I mostly did that in New Hampshire and I think I did all right.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? I was at a Capitol Hill press conference and in then-Sen. Kerry’s way – he physically moved me. I would say I’m roughly eye-level with his elbow.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Oh. You wanted that today?

Who should just call it a day? James Bond – by now that guy is just a walking STD.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. It could live on infamy. What’s the worst thing you ate while struggling to finish a story?

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