Here’s What Placebos Can Heal—And What They Can’t

for National Geographic Book Talk

Published: Nov 27, 2016

The latest research in biochemistry reveals that your brain can actually self-medicate.

Writing short

for Central Time
Hear how over-fishing in the Sea of Cortez serves as an example of what's to come globally.

Interview: Happening Now

for Happening Now
I appeared on a national news show to talk about the book and the cover story.
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Interpretive panel at the San Jose Airport

Every now and again I do random adventures in science writing like this interpretive panel now on display just outside of the San Jose Airport. The text is mine, the images are, sadly, not.


TEDX: Chronic Pain – Shedding the Second Dark Age

Published: September 26, 2017

Chronic Pain: Shedding the Second Dark Age

Bay Trail Interpretive Panel

An interpretive panel I helped conceive with Cathy Reinhard of NatureGraphic Interpretive Design. Somewhere on the Peninsula near Redwood City.


PBS NewsHour: The placebo effect’s role in healing, explained

for PBS NewsHour

Published: April 11, 2018

I traveled with a film crew to Huatla, Mexico, and Baltimore, Maryland, to understand the intersection of science, faith and healing.

Erik Vance scrutinizes a battle over dolphin rights

for The Open Notebook
Published: November 2011

Reporting from the trenches in the war over dolphin rights, freelance science writer Erik Vance relates the story of Lori Marino and Diana Reiss, dolphin researchers who have spent most of their careers as close colleagues and friends

Just the Towhee of Us

for California
Published: Summer 2006

In 2006 I interviewed an expert in back yard love songs. Take a walk in the Bay Area hill s and listen for a very unusual type of duet.