Death, the afterlife, and now sex — Mary Roach tackles the most pondered and least understood conundrums that have baffled humans for centuries. (She's funny, too.)

Why you should listen

Freelance writer and humorist turned accidental science journalist Mary Roach likes to ask the questions we all wonder about but are usually too polite to mention. What happens after we die, anyway? How fast do cadavers rot? Can a corpse have an orgasm?

Writing the Health & Body column for quickened her interest in the dead -- that, and looking at the hit count for her columns on cadavers. Her books Stiff and Spook sprung out of research done for a proposed Salon column called the Dead Beat (sadly, it was killed). Her most recent book, Bonk, is a romp through the current landscape of gynecology, sex research and the adult novelty industry.

In addition to her dry (and sometimes silly) wit, Roach has a penchant for funny voices, faking her way through interviews with expert scientists, and wheedling her way into strange locales, among them a dildo factory and under the business end of an ultrasound wand during coitus.

What others say

“... she takes an entertaining topic and showcases its creepier side. And then she makes the creepy funny.” — Pamela Paul, New York TImes

Mary Roach’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Mary Roach


TEDWeekends takes a look at the orgasm

February 16, 2013

Journalist Mary Roach has investigated the nitty gritty of space travel, cadaver research and the afterlife. But at TED2009, she shared some of her most fascinating research yet … into the orgasm. In her talk “10 things you didn’t know about orgasm,” Roach digs deep into scientific research in sexuality — much of it recent, […]

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