Joel Achenbach has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990. He has reported for the Style section, the Magazine, Outlook, and, since 2007, the national desk, focusing on science and politics. For seven years he wrote the syndicated column “Why Things Are.” In 1999 he started the newsroom’s first online-only column, “Rough Draft,” and in 2005 began writing washingtonpost.com’s first blog, Achenblog. He has been a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1998, writing stories on such topics as Mars, the “war on science,” dinosaurs, particle physics, earthquakes, extraterrestrial life, megafauna extinction and the electrical grid. A native of Gainesville, Fla., Achenbach graduated in 1982 from Princeton University and served a four-year term on the university’s Board of Trustees. He has taught journalism at Princeton and Georgetown University. His “Why” and “Rough Draft” columns have been collected in four books, and he has authored three books touching on science, history and technology: “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea,” an account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and its aftermath (2011); “The Grand Idea: George Washington’s Potomac and the Race to the West” (2004); and “Captured By Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe” (1999).
Sessions as a Speaker
Human Gene Editing: Is There a Parental Obligation to Create “Better” Babies?
- Marriott Marquis: Nob Hill Room