Carl Zimmer Biography

Carl Zimmer is a well-liked science author, blogger, columnist, and journalist. Zimmer focuses on the topics of evolution, parasites, and heredity.

He is the author of many books and contributes science essays to publications like The New York Times, Discover, and National Geographic. He is a fellow at Yale University’s Morse College and adjunct professor of Molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University.

Besides his popular science writing, Zimmer conjointly offers frequent lectures. He has appeared on many radio shows, including National Public Radio’s Radiolab, Fresh Air, and This American Life.

Zimmer describes his journalistic beat as “life” or “what it means to be alive. He’s conjointly the sole science author to possess a species of tapeworm named after him (Acanthobothrium Zimmer).

Carl Zimmer Age

Zimmer was born on born 1966. He is approximately 53 years as of 2019.

Carl Zimmer Net Worth

Zimmer’s net worth is still under review and will be updated soon once information is found.

Carl Zimmer Wife

Zimmer’s spouse goes by the name of Grace Farrell Zimmer.

Carl Zimmer Career

Zimmer received his B.A. in English from Yale University in 1987. In 1989, he started his career at Discover magazine, first as a copy editor and fact-checker, eventually serving as a senior editor from 1994 to 1998.

Zimmer left Discover after ten years to focus on books and other projects. In 2004, he started a blog called “The Loom”. In which he wrote about topics related to his books. However, later expanded it into what he terms “a place where I could write about things I might not be turning into an article for a magazine but were really interesting”.

The Loom has been hosted by Discover and National Geographic for many years and was invited to be part of Scienceblogs in the past. It has been transferred to Zimmer’s personal website in 2018. As of 2013, Zimmer writes a weekly column called Matter in The New York Times.

Zimmer and the STAT project team have put out “Game of Genomes,” a 13-part series that enlisted two dozen scientists, with the goal of exploring Zimmer’s own genome.

He has given lectures at some of the USA’s leading universities, medical schools, and museums. In 2009, Zimmer was the keynote speaker at Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS).

He has also presented at NECSS 2011 and CSICon 2018. Twice, Zimmer has been a spotlight speaker at Aspen Ideas Festival, in 2017 at Aspen Ideas, and in 2018 for Aspen Ideas: Health.

In 2009 and 2010 he was the host of the periodic audio podcast Meet the Scientist of the American Society for Microbiology (replacing Merry Buckley). Zimmer’s 2004 article Whose Life Would You Save?

Zimmer is widely known as one of the best science essayists and communicators and has thus received numerous awards including the 2007 National Academies Communication Award, a prize for science communication from US National Academy of Sciences, for his wide-ranging coverage of biology and evolution in newspapers, magazines, and his blog.

For these same reasons, in 2016 Yale University appointed Zimmer Adjunct Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, stating that he is “a world-renowned science journalist and teacher, and his ability to form science, particularly biology, accessible to the general public is without peer”.

Zimmer teaches a science communication course at Yale since 2017 and participates in alternative Molecular biophysics and biochemistry courses

Carl Zimmer Books

Zimmer has written books like;

  • She has her Mother’s Laugh
  • A planet of virus
  • Evolution: Making sense of life
  • The tangled bank: An introduction to evolution
  • Science ink: Tattoos of the Science obsessed
  • Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s most dangerous creatures
  • Brain Cuttings: Exploration of the brain
  • Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of life
  • The Descent of Man: The Concise Edition
  • Evolution: The triumph of an idea
  • Soul Made Flesh: The discovery of the brain and how it changed the world
  • At the water’s Edge: Fish with Fingers, whales with legs, and How life came Ashore but then went back to sea
  • Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins

Carl Zimmer Opinion On Science And Skepticism

Zimmer publicly expresses his concerns about recent science denial and notes that attacks on science “are in a number of cases well-funded campaigns. Also, some politicians are backing some of them for their own political ends.”

Where “climate change, evolution, and vaccines seem to top the list.” He further says that each case of science denial is concerning, and says that some, e.g. spreading misinformation about vaccines to worried parents, leads to needless outbreaks of disease that even puts children at risk of death.

Similarly, Zimmer considers global warming as one of the biggest societal issues of our time, as our children and their children will inherit not only our genes, but this planet too, and states that “We should think about tinkering with the future of genetic heredity, but I think we should also be doing that with our environmental heredity and our cultural heredity.”

According to Zimmer there is a broader threat of these particular attacks on science, potentially eroding people’s understanding of how science works in general: “If people come to see science as just someone else’s opinion, rather than a powerful way of knowing based on evidence, then all sorts of trouble may arise.”

In his keynote talk at The Rockefeller University on 6 September 2017, he noted that democracy, science, and journalism are “three valuable institutions that have made life…far better than it would have been without them.”

He stated however that we should not take it for granted. That they are free from corruption and urged to keep them that way. Specifically, he stated that “We can look back through history and see how in different places and at different times, each of these pillars cracked and sometimes fell.

We should not be smug when we look back at these episodes. We should not be so arrogant, as to believe that we are so much smarter or nobler that we’re somehow immune from these disasters.”

Zimmer is critical of politicians’ negative influence on science. Specifically, he is critical of Trump’s anti-science stance, specifically his denial of human-caused climate change. Similarly, he is critical of Trump’s appointment of science-deniers to lead crucial US environmental agencies, such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy.

Zimmer is also critical of Putin’s influence on Russian science, specifically Putin’s “friendly takeover” of a Russian science magazine. Putin is the “hands-off chairman” of the Russian Geographic Society.

After publishing, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, in several interviews. Zimmer was asked for his opinion about genome editing and CRISPR. While Zimmer thought that some gene-editing procedures, especially for conditions caused by single-gene mutations, might provide simple ways to battle serious diseases, he urged for caution about intervention at the embryonic stage. However, he further pointed out the complexity of the issue and the need to address other countries’ practices.

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Carl Zimmer Mother’s Laugh

In a magnificent work exploring nearly all aspects of heredity, journalist Zimmer (Parasite Rex), masterfully blends exciting storytelling with first-rate science coverage.

Although he lucidly explains the basics of Mendelian genetics which address inheritance and biological diversity. Zimmer goes far beyond that topic to explore the complexities of genetic inheritance. For example, he notes that there are at least 800 genes influencing height in humans, but collectively they explain only about one-quarter of the heritability of that trait.

Zimmer is not shy about taking on controversial topics like the genetics of race. He argues that there aren’t genetic fingerprints for the race (“Ancient DNA doesn’t simply debunk the notion of white purity. It debunks the very name white”).

Also making the case that it is currently all but impossible to draw significant conclusions about the roles genes play in overall intelligence. He also probes developing the field of epigenetics (changes in gene expression rather than alteration of genetic code). As well as the role of genetics in developmental and cancer biologies.

Zimmer’s writing is wealthy, whether he’s describing the history of the sector or examining the newest research. Also the ethical problems sure to arise. His book is as engrossing as it is enlightening.

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