Nicholas Wade on Journalism and Science
  Nicholas Wade     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

There is a relationship between what scientists think is important and what we cover. But it’s not a one to one relationship. There are many very important papers that I don’t write about. And it’s probably because some of them are just very hard to explain and it requires so much space just to set the background that unless the result itself is overwhelmingly important you can’t give that much space to the story. And if you just do it in a paragraph, no one will understand what you read. So we tend to ignore lots of important stories. And we just focus in on a few. So the race to complete the genome is something that people can identify with the race at least. And that then draws them into learning a little about the genome. So maybe now we cover perhaps a little more than we should.

Nicholas Wade received a B.A. in natural sciences from King's College in Cambridge (1964). He was deputy editor of (italics) Nature magazine in London and then became that journal's Washington correspondent. He joined (italics) Science magazine in Washington as a reporter and later moved to (italics)The New York Times, where he has been an editorial writer, concentrating his writing on issues of defense, space, science, medicine, technology, genetics, molecular biology, the environment, and public policy, a science reporter, and science editor. He is the author or coauthor of several books including (italics) LIFE SCRIPT: How The Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine And Enhance Your Health (2002).

Covering the Human Genome Project for the (italics) New York Times since 1990, Wade has interviewed Watson on various occasions and visited Cold Spring Harbor for the annual Genome symposium.