David Ewing Duncan is an award-winning, best-selling author of seven books and numerous essays, articles and short stories; and a television, radio and film producer and correspondent. At UC Berkeley he is the Director of the Center for Life Science Policy and a Visiting Researcher at the Graduate School of Journalism. He is a Contributing Editor and Columnist for Conde Nast Portfolio, a Chief Correspondent for NPR Talk's "Biotech Nation", and a commentator for NPR's "Morning Edition".
His next book is Experimental Man: What one man's body reveals about his future, your health, and our toxic world (Wiley, 2009).
His most recent book is Masterminds: Genius, DNA and the Quest to Rewrite Life (Harper Perennial). He wrote the international bestseller Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year (Harper-Collins/Avon), published in 19 languages, and a bestseller in 14 countries.
David also has been a Contributing Editor to Wired and Discover, and a special correspondent and producer for ABC's Nightline and 20/20. He has been a correspondent for NOVA's ScienceNow!, and a producer for Discovery Television. He is a contributor to National Geographic, Fortune and MIT Technology Review; and he was a longtime correspondent for Life. He also has written for Harper’ s, Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Outside, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Washington Post Book World, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times, among others.
In 2003, David won the prestigious Magazine Story of the Year Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His articles have twice been cited in nominations for National Magazine Awards, and his work has appeared twice in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.
David is the Founder and Editorial Director of the BioAgenda Institute, an independent, non-profit program of events and educational initiatives that discusses and analyzes crucial issues in life sciences — which is being folded into the new Center for Life Science Policy at UC Berkeley. He has been the host of the annual BioAgenda Summit.
David's other books include the bestselling Pedaling the Ends of the Earth (Simon & Schuster), about his bicycle expedition around the world, and Hernando Soto: A Savage Quest in the Americas, called “an astonishing tour de force” by the New York Times Book Review. He wrote Residents: The Perils and Promise of Educating Young Doctors (Scribner) and Cape to Cairo: An African Odyssey (Grove Atlantic). His fiction has appeared in two anthologies. He has taught creative writing at Stanford University. He works at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, and lives in San Francisco.
An idea worth spreading
I'm passionate about
Gaia, new ideas, the future, ancient history, the brain, bicycling, literature, global health, far-flung travel, deserts, and cafes.
Talk to me about
The experimental man project, the future, and your interests
People don't know I'm good at
Classical history and archeology, guitar, old maps, photography, poetry, art history.
My TED story
I have heard about TED for years and know many Tedsters, I'm very happy to be coming. I hope everyone will come and see my interview with Juan Enriquez at lunch on February 5!