Catching up: Evolving salamanders, ethical blogging, and my brain on smart drinks

By Carl Zimmer | July 2, 2012 10:00 am

I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling, and along the way I’ve neglected to point to some pieces of mine that have been coming out. Here they are:

1. Roadside evolution: Traveling to faraway lands to work on a story is one of the great privileges of this gig, but sometimes it’s nice just to head five minutes from your front door and go salamander hunting. That’s what I did for a story about evolution in our own time, which appears in the current issue of Environment Yale.

2. The Lehrer Affair. The best-selling science writer Jonah Lehrer made the sort of news a journalist wants to avoid: a number of passages in his magazine articles and books are closely to identical to stuff he’s written before. Journalist Seth Mnookin invited Jack Shafer (Reuters media critic), Deborah Blum (Pulitzer Prize-winning book author), David Quammen (prominent nature writer), and me to engage in a roundtable discussion of the controversy. Seth posted parts one and two last week, and part three goes up later today.

3. Do I look smart yet? For my latest Discover column, I explored the newest niche in neuro-marketing: brain drinks. You can now buy Gatorade-ish potions full of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other goodies, that are accompanied by vague promises of cognitive enhancement. I guzzled a sampling of smart drinks over a few days and wrote a column about it. Let’s just say, this was not a Hunter S. Thompson experience.

[Photo by me] 

 

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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