David Quammen, journalist and author
Air Dates: May 27-29, 2023
This week's guest on "Report from Santa Fe" is journalist and author David Quammen, nature and science writer of 18 books including "Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus" (the 2002 finalist for the National Book Award), "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Epidemic" and "The Heartbeat of the Wild."
An acclaimed writer of nonfiction with a focus on science and the history of science, Quammen has written hundreds of short nonfiction pieces, feature articles, essays, columns appearing in such publications as the New Yorker, National Geographic, Outside, the Atlantic, and Rolling Stone. He has won the National Magazine Award three times. Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the best-selling book "The Sixth Extinction“ proclaims that "No one writes about complex science better than David Quammen.”
From 2007 to 2009, Quammen was employed as the Wallace Stegner Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University. Quammen received honorary doctorates from Montana State University and Colorado College. For his work, Quammen was awarded with a Rhodes Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction.
His book "SpIllover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" (2012) received two awards: the Science and Society Book Award, given by the National Association of Science Writers, and the Society of Biology (UK) Book Award in General Biology. In 2013, "Spillover" was short listed for the PEN /E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.] "The Song of the Dodo" (Scribner, 1996), a study of the bird's extinction won the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing.
In this interview, Quammen reflects on the accuracy of his predictions about upcoming human epidemics saying, ‘Science warned this would happen. Politics didn’t care.’ He discusses the popular misconceptions about AIDS and Covid that his research has uncovered and addresses the big question about the origin of the Covid virus, did it occur naturally in nature or was it created in a lab.