Sam Kean headshot

Sam Kean

Sam Kean is the New York Times best-selling author of six books, including The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements; The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb; and The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science.

NPR’s “Science Friday,” the Royal Society, and The Guardian have each named different titles of Kean’s among their top books of the year. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate, and his work has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab,” “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air.” His podcast, The Disappearing Spoon, debuted at No. 1 on the science podcasts chart on iTunes and is now hosted by the Science History Institute.

More from Sam Kean

Color photo of two men in suits, one without a shirt, photographed walking in the dark

Valery Fabrikant and Science’s Ethical Limits

Is it right to publish research from an unrepentant murderer?

Ink and watercolor illustration of a modern surgical procedure

Prison Plastic Surgery

Can a new look unlock a new life?

Satirical cartoon of Darwinism using a circus theme

The Case Against Charles Darwin

How the investigation into a grisly murder shocked 19th-century France and framed the scientist as an accomplice.

portrait of Robert Oppenheimer sitting down smoking

The Real Tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer

Sam Kean examines the dark, restless side of the father of the atomic bomb.

The Rotten Science Behind the MSG Scare

How one doctor’s letter and a string of dodgy studies spurred a public health panic.

Large, damaged ancient Egyptian statue

Diagnosing the Dead

Can scrutinizing the ailments of historical figures really teach us anything?