Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer's picture
Professor (Adjunct) of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Carl Zimmer is an award-winning science columnist for the New York Times. He has won the National Academies Communication Award and is also a three-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. In addition, Zimmer has been awarded the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, an Online Journalism Award, and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers.

In addition to his work for the Times, Zimmer’s writing has appeared in magazines including National Geographic, Wired, The Atlantic, and Scientific American. His articles have been anthologized in both The Best American Science and Nature Writing series and The Best American Science Writing series.

Zimmer is also the author of 13 books about science. His latest book is She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. It was selected by the Guardian as the best science book of the year, and the New York Times Book Review named it a notable book of the year. It was a finalist for the Baillie-Gifford Prize for Nonfiction and the PEN/EO Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. His other books include At the Water’s EdgeParasite RexEvolution: The Triumph of an IdeaSoul Made Flesh, and Microcosm. He has won fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for his books. 

At Yale, Zimmer teaches “Writing about Science, Medicine, and the Environment,” an undergraduate seminar. He also teaches workshops for Yale science graduate students in science communication.

Selected Books

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Past and Future of Heredity. Dutton 2018.

A Planet of Viruses. University of Chicago Press. First edition, 2011; second edition 2015.

Evolution: Making Sense of Life. Macmillan. First edition, 2012; second edition, 2015; third edition, August 2019. Co-authored with evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen.

The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution. Macmillan. First edition, 2009; second edition, 2013.

Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. Pantheon, 2008.

Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain and How It Changed the World. Free Press, 2004.

Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. HarperCollins, 2001.

Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures. Free Press, 2000.

At the Water’s Edge: Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life. Free Press, 1998.

Selected Articles

The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything,” The New York Times, December 7, 2018

Genetically Modified People Are Walking Among Us,” The New York Times, December 1, 2018 

Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering History of Our Species,” The New York Times, June 7, 2017

Scientists Say Canadian Bacteria Fossils May Be Earth’s Oldest,” The New York Times, March 1, 2017

Most Primate Species Threatened With Extinction, Scientists Find,” The New York Times, January 18, 2017

Secrets of the Brain,” National Geographic, February 2014