Ellen Ruppel Shell

Co-Director, Center for Science & Medical Journalism; Professor, Journalism, College of Communication

A correspondent and contributing editor for the Atlantic Magazine, Ellen Ruppel Shell writes about science and public policy for such national publications as SmithsonianAudubonThe New York Times,  SeedDiscover and the Washington Post. She has served as an editor for many magazines and for public broadcasting, and is sought frequently as a commentator on issues of science and the press. She is author of three books, most recently Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (Penguin, 2009), a narrative investigation of the history, politics, psychology, economics and consequences of low-price consumption in America, praised as “highly intelligent…a first-rate job of reporting and analysis” byThe New York Times Sunday Book Review. An earlier work, The Hungry Gene: The Science of Fat and the Future of Thin (Grove/Atlantic, 2002), published in six languages, took an unflinching look at the spreading obesity pandemic. Critics called it “enthralling,” written with a “narrative gift that transforms the story of history, science and politics of obesity” into “observant little dramas” that are both “fascinating” and “chilling.” A frequent contributor to the opinion page of the Boston Globe, her blog, “To Reason and Beyond,” is featured on the theatlantic.com. Ruppel Shell speaks both here and abroad on consumer culture, environmental issues and the interface between science, policy and the media.