Michael Specter

Visiting Professor of Environmental and Urban Studies

Academic Program Affiliation(s): Environmental and Urban Studies


Staff writer at The New Yorker, where he covers science, technology, and global public health. He has written articles about the global AIDS epidemic, avian influenza, malaria, the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, genetically modified food, synthetic biology, and the debate over the meaning of our carbon footprint, among other subjects. He has also published profiles of Lance Armstrong, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Manolo Blahnick, and PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. He previously worked at the New York Times, where he served as roving foreign correspondent, based in Rome, and as Moscow bureau chief; and at the Washington Post, as local news reporter, national science reporter, and New York bureau chief. His most recent book is Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Plant, and Threatens Our Lives (2009). In 2011, he received the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership Annual Award for Excellence in Reporting for his New Yorker article, “A Deadly Misdiagnosis,” about the dangers of inaccurate TB tests in India. He has also been awarded the Overseas Press Club’s Citation for Excellence for his reporting from Chechnya and has twice received the Global Health Council’s annual Excellence in Media Award. At Bard since 2012.


Phone: 845-758-6822