Carl Zimmer Interviews Me on the Making of a Story

Earlier this year, Nature published Dynasty—my story about Bob Paine, who changed the face of ecology with his bold ideas, but also spawned an academic family tree that did the same. The piece was the culmination of a year of work and is one of my favourites. So, I was honoured when the good people at the Open Notebook asked to interview me about it.

The Open Notebook is an unparalleled resource, exposing the tips and tricks that make great science journalism great. Last year, I interviewed Adam Rogers for them, about the making of his award-winning piece on a whiskey fungus. And to interview me about Dynasty, they chose Carl Zimmer.

I’ve been reading Carl Zimmer’s books for around a decade now. I’ve blogged alongside him at three different networks for five years. I’ve been plugging his superb work on this blog for around the same time. And now I’ve been interviewed by him. We talked about coming up with the idea for Dynasty, doing the reporting, and crafting the story.

It was a gruelling battle, much like the time Neal Stephenson fought William Gibson. But as we crawled out of the wreckage, bloodied and battered, a transcript emerged. You can find it here.