Mark Anderson
Professional/Personal Overview
  Since 1999, I've been a fulltime freelance journalist and author -- covering science, technology & the arts for Wired, Discover, Science, Rolling Stone, New Scientist, Harper's, The Boston Globe,, and Assignments have ranged from explaining cutting-edge research in quantum biology for everyday readers to producing public radio profiles of neuroscientist short story writer David Eagleman and children's book author Mo ("Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus") Willems.

I'm a Contributing Producer to the Public Radio International program "Studio 360," Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum magazine and was technical consultant to the Science Channel television show "Joao Magueijo's Big Bang" (May 2008).

In June, Da Capo Press will be publishing my next book, THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN: An Extraordinary Story of 18th Century Scientific Adventure & the Global Race to Track the Transit of Venus.
Contact Info
  Mark Anderson
Northampton, MA 

Work Samples
(WNYC/PRI's "Studio 360", 6/22/2012)
Digital special effects in movies is getting cheaper by the year. CGI is now coming into price range of low-budget films, changing the world of arthouse and indie films in the process.
(IEEE Spectrum, 4/23/2012)
At the end of 2011, IBM predicted that by 2017 limited forms of mind reading would no longer [be] science fiction. Surveying leading neurotech experts has turned up some suppor - albeit limited and carefully qualified - for the company's prediction.
(WNYC radio/"Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen", 7/29/2011)
When Nintendo released Donkey Kong in 1981, it was one of the only arcade games in which you did more than just blast space invaders. It contained an entire world, with a damsel in distress and an unlikely hero: a little Italian plumber named Mario. This piece profiles a video game scholar, Tom Chat
(IEEE Spectrum, 6/1/2011)
Harnessing the power of its own social network, Facebook translates itself into 70 languages (Part of a special report on the battle for the future of social networking--for which I also filed an annotated "data" page on the explosive rise of Facebook from barely international in 2008 to global onli
(IEEE Spectrum, 2/14/2011)
In what could be a landmark study in the new field of quantum biology, American and Greek researchers discover that the sense of smell works using the same quantum mechanical mechanism behind flash memory and scanning tunneling microscopes -- a.k.a. "quantum tunneling."
(Public Radio International's "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen", 9/17/2010)
A profile of a fulltime neuroscience researcher who writes best-selling fiction on the side. People -- like Brian Eno and Max Richter of the Royal Opera House in London -- are adapting his short stories into operas, ballets and movies. Part of Studio 360's "science and creativity" series.
(IEEE Spectrum, 9/1/2010)
A by-the-numbers look at the often corrupt world of "e-cycling" -- in which electronic goods often meet a bad end, even if they're properly recycled.
(Discover magazine, 5/1/2010)
In the skies above Afghanistan and along the roadsides of Iraq, unmanned military machines are changing the nature of combat. These robots may soon be making life-or-death decisions themselves.
(Public Radio International's "Studio 360", 4/30/2010)
A 7-minute public radio profile of children's author Mo Willems (*Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus*, *Knuffle Bunny*, etc.)
(IEEE Spectrum, 4/20/2010)
In January, I wrote an exclusive in-depth profile of the makers of the CPU that today powers the iPad, iPhone 4 and new iPod Touch. (Click through above piece to get to that story.) In March -- as Apple later confirmed to the NY Times -- Apple bought the company that makes these gadgets' CPU.
(IEEE Spectrum, 2/4/2010)
With the cost of mapping all your DNA falling from the billions of dollars to the thousands -- in just a decade -- this much is clear: The next 10 years will be brought to you by the letters A, C, G, and T. [Please also note a second article on this subject in the links]
(Wired magazine, 1/1/2010)
To explore "dark energy," scientists are building a 570 megapixel intergalactic camera -- large enough to capture the cosmos.
(Wired magazine, 1/1/2010)
Who needs a distribution deal? Indie filmmakers find alternatives to the multiplex.
(Studio 360 (Public Radio International), 7/24/2009)
Reporting on the summer potluck dinner of Solo Together, a trade union of New England-based actors who portray historical figures such as Galileo, Susan B. Anthony, Paul Revere and Walt Whitman.
(, 6/26/2009)
Reprinting images from the 1978-'79 Iranian revolution -- images with haunting resonance to events in today's headlines
(, 5/7/2009)
A new solution to the mystery of the "Tunguska event" -- a fireball as powerful as hundreds of Hiroshima atomic blasts that exploded in the skies over central Siberia on the morning of June 30, 1908.
(, 4/21/2009)
A photo gallery featuring interviews with participants in the first Earth Day: April 22, 1970.
(IEEE Spectrum, 2/24/2009)
Account of an in-person tour of the Plastic Logic e-Reader factory floor in Dresden, Germany -- one of the first flexible (plastic) electronics factories in the world.
(Discover magazine, 1/15/2009)
The quantum laws of the subatomic realm appear more and more to be shaping and influencing biological processes. Quantum biology is a hybrid field whose time has come.
(Discover magazine, 12/2/2008)
A scientific debate has lately been raging over the validity of Shaken Baby Syndrome -- and how much of this often deadly form of infant brain trauma comes from something other than child abuse. If the skeptics are even partly right, then some innocent families may have been persecuted for naught.
(, 10/21/2008)
Nikon announced its top prizes for creative (and often astonishingly beautiful) microscopic photography. Our coverage blogged about at --
(IEEE Spectrum, 10/1/2008)
This is the story of the most advanced spacecraft ever flown, set to test some of the most extreme predictions of Einstein's relativity --and of an eleventh-hour budgetary bailout that rescued this technologically and scientifically ambitious voyage.
(Wired magazine, 9/28/2008)
Charles Ferguson, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has been studying a new form of uranium enrichment for possible clandestine WMD programs. In this piece, he gives his advice on tracking this new technology to President Obama.
(IEEE Spectrum, 7/1/2008)
Computer malware (viruses, trojans, etc.) has become an emerging worldwide marketplace. The first comprehensive analysis of "crimeware" business models finds a multitude of ways to turn a shady buck. Of them, phishing is the fastest-growing sector, but adware is the steady moneymaker.
(Wired magazine, 3/24/2008)
Techno-utopians like futurist Ray Kurzweil should pay closer attention to developments in neuroscience. Kurzweil says computers will be able to simulate human consciousness by 2020. Uh, yeah... and the bold new age of steam power will, by 1900, make manual labor obsolete.
(IEEE Spectrum, 1/29/2008)
In the world of search-engine law, say some scholars, the courts have only begun to recognize the existence of a train leaving the station, let alone chase after it: The legal gray zones of Internet search are indeed vast. But they still can be outlined and defined.
(Wired News, 10/12/2007)
Jonathan Coulton is making a comfortable living as a recording and touring musician, thanks to a business plan that -- if conventional music industry wisdom held -- should have amounted to career suicide. For starters, he's given away lots of his music.
(Wired News, 9/24/2007)
A memo saying "geek chic is going mainstream" must have circulated among network TV execs as they concocted this fall's prime-time lineup...
(Plenty magazine, 6/1/2007)
Who knew texting had the promise of aleviating traffic gridlock as well as the #1 contributor to the peak oil and climate problems: The low-mileage, single-occupant car?
(, 3/12/2007)
Blogging from "Energy 2.0: The MIT Energy Conference"
(, 3/12/2007)
Some 550 researchers, students, entrepreneurs, CEOs and financiers gathered at MIT in March 2007 for "Energy 2.0: The MIT Energy Conference" for a weekend of renewable energy from algae-powered solar cells to corn-powered homes.
(Wired News, 1/22/2007)
This piece covered the race to scale fiber optics down to the micro-scales -- to enable the schmillion-core microprocessors of tomorrow that will simply be operating too fast with too much information for electronic signals to carry them anymore.
(New Scientist, 1/5/2007)
About an unmanned space probe that will explore the very outer edges of interplanetary space -- and uncover how the veil that shields out the galaxy's harshest radiation could, over the eons, contribute to everything from the speed of evolution on Earth to long-term climate change.
(Rolling Stone, 9/7/2006)
This was Rolling Stone's first foray into the burgeoning world of music in the online metaverse Second Life (
(, 4/10/2006)
This was an arts-meets-climate catastrophe piece about an online foundation set up to put musical instruments back in the hands of the very cultural lifeblood of the Big Easy: Displaced and dispossessed New Orleans jazz musicians.
(Wired News, 3/15/2006)
This was the first in a three-part series I did for Wired News on three books that tackled the climate crisis head-on: Tim Flannery's "The Weather Makers"; Elizabeth Kolbert's "Field Notes from a Catastrophe"; and Lester Brown's "Plan B 2.0"
(New Scientist, 11/29/2003)
Examining the ways that scientists are trying to crash and destroy the world's first "quantum Internet" -- all in the name of trying to make it stronger.
(Wired News, 5/9/2000)
A review of a concert by the digital music/"mashup" artists Negativland
( Technology / The Industry Standard, 2/28/2000)
Covering a watershed 2000 conference at Harvard on the future of the music industry in the MP3 age -- post-Napster but pre-iTunes Music Store.
(The Valley/Springfield/Hartford/New Haven Advocate, 7/18/1997)
One day on the road with the world's biggest rock 'n' roll show
Work Info
Book Author 10 Years
Writer 19 Years
Arts & Humanities 19 Years
Science 13 Years
Technology 12 Years
Total Media Industry Experience
19 Years
Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
IEEE Spectrum (11+), "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen" (NPR) (3-5), Delta Sky magazine (1-2), Discover magazine (1-2)
Other Work History
programmer/analyst intern at Cray Research, Inc. (the supercomputer company); teaching and research assistant, University of Massachusetts, Department of Astronomy
Computer Skills
HTML, Unix, Mac OS X, MS Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Peak, Adobe ImageReady, Second Life, Google Earth, Final Cut Pro (beginner-level), Celtx (open-source screenwriting software), iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, Keynote (Apple), Pages (Apple)
Technical Skills
basic photo editing (Photoshop, iPhoto), basic broadcast/podcast-quality audio editing (Peak), basic video editing (iMovie, iDVD, Final Cut Pro), basic Unix/Linux
MacBook Pro, iPod with (less-than-CD-quality) digital audio recorder attachment, Canon PowerShot G2 (4 megapixels), JVC high-end consumer miniDV camcorder
National Association of Science Writers
I hold a B.A. in physics (Carleton College) and M.S. in astrophysics (University of Massachusetts-Amherst). In 2005, I also wrote a book about Shakespeare for Gotham Books/Penguin (, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said is "especially impressive" and which the New York Times said "deserves serious attention."
Freelancer Availability
I freelance full-time. I live near Springfield-Holyoke, MA. I am willing to travel anywhere. I have a driver's license. I have access to a car.