Science and Community: Florence Williams

Science Writer, Florence Williams, pulls up in a truck with a river raft on top for our interview at a west-side Missoula home. Somehow it is the perfect rig for this adventurous writer I met on a cross-country ski trip up Lolo Pass. She was a graduate student, as I was, at the University of Montana Masters of Fine Arts program in fall 1992, where we sat elbow-to-elbow in William Kittredge’s fiction class. She was trying to finish her coursework in a year—her husband was home in Colorado, where she’d been working on a new journal called High Country News.

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Florence Williams

Intense, intelligent, and always funny, Williams has had a stellar writing career. A contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Slate, Mother Jones, and O-Oprah, Williams is a fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University. She has received six magazine awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the John Hersey Prize at Yale. Her book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton 2012) received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in science and technology and the 2013 Audie Prize in general nonfiction.

Interview by Geek Puff Contributor, Caroline Patterson

GP: What trends in your field are exciting to you now?

Williams: As a science writer, I’ve been grateful for the community of science writers. For so long I was a freelancer working by myself. When I published my last book, I started going to more professional conferences and reaching out to more peers. I’ve been excited by that because science writers are a thriving, supportive community. We communicate through list serves with other science writers, which is kind of a neat thing to do.

The full interview with Florence Williams will be featured in the coming GIRLS issue of Geek Puff eMagazine. Subscribe at the top of the page – it’s free, it’s smart, and it’s chic.

Florence’s book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, is available several places listed on her website, and her twitter handle is @flowill.

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