David Epstein obsesses over mistranslations of scientific research, and tries to temper the misconceptions that follow them.

Why you should listen

David Epstein was previously a reporter at ProPublica, where his investigative reporting spanned poor medical research to poor drug enforcement practices. Prior to that, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he authored or coauthored many of the magazine’s most high profile stories.

While getting his master’s degree in environmental science, Epstein lived on a ship in the Pacific Ocean and in a tent in the Arctic; only later, as an investigative science reporter, did he realize why his own scientific research had been mostly poor. He recently started the Range Report so to scrutinize science in the news, and share tips for scientific thinking.  

In 2019, Epstein authored Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. He is also the author of The Sports Gene, a book that explores the complex factors that make up a championship athlete.

What others say

“I recommend this book generally to sports fans, but more importantly this book should also be read by people who are broadly interested in how an individual’s biology interacts with their behavior (training), their environment, and their culture.” — Dr. Mike Joyner, Mayo Clinic

More news and ideas from David Epstein


In the Skype Studio: The ever-changing finish line

May 7, 2014

In his TED Talk, published last week, Sports Illustrated reporter David Epstein asks, “Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?” The short answer is ‘yes,’ but it’s not just a matter of talent improving. He shows the nuance of how it’s also about changing technology that allow for faster speeds, rising expectations that enable athletes […]

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Live from TED

What’s making athletes faster, better, stronger: David Epstein at TED2014

March 20, 2014

The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” or, in English, “Faster, higher, stronger.” And as sports science reporter David Epstein points out from the TED2014 stage, “Athletes have fulfilled that motto — and they’ve done so rapidly.” Epstein investigates why it is that, year upon year, runners, swimmers, gymnasts, basketball players and so many others […]

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