First post

Hello and welcome!

I’m glad to be the newest member of the ScienceBlog team. I am going to be writing mainly on genes,  genomes, heredity, and health. Subjects in the news today such as personal genomics, pharmacogenomics, and genetic screening and counseling all have strong historical roots. Examining them can really cut through the hype and illuminate the headlines. I’m going to try to add some depth and perspective–and hopefully some humor–to biomedical questions that affect us all.

Factlets: I’m on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, where I teach courses on 20th century biomedicine, the history of genetics, and oral history. I have two degrees in biology and one in history. I’ve written a book on the geneticist Barbara McClintock and edited one on the Intelligent Design controversy. My current book project is a history of medical genetics. The working title is The Science of Human Perfection and it will be published by the good folks at Yale University Press.

I also like to write for wider audiences. I’ve published in the New York Times Book Review, Natural History, Science, New Scientist, and The Believer, and have been on National Public Radio.

I also blog over at the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science, where I’m planning to focus on more historical, probably somewhat more scholarly material. I tweet @nccomfort and you can find some of my writings on academia.edu.

Okay, enough preamble. Let’s get started!

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