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Jonathan Weiner

Fiction Writer · Nonfiction Writer
Born November 26, 1953, New York, New York

I write books about science and nature. When I was growing up, I wanted to be either a biologist or a writer. At Harvard (Class of ‘76), I chose writing. But soon after I graduated, I found a way to do both, and I have been writing about science ever since.


Jonathan Weiner was born in New York City in 1953. His father is a mathematical physicist at Brown University. His mother is a librarian. Growing up, he spent two years abroad in Italy and Israel. In 1987, he moved from New York City to Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Deborah Heiligman, a writer of children’s books.
Jonathan Weiner wrote part time, while serving as a senior editor of The Sciences, the magazine of the New York Academy of Sciences. In 1985, he left the magazine to write his first book, the companion volume to the PBS television series Planet Earth. The book’s success enabled him to write full-time . His book, The Beak of the Finch, won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science. Weiner's work is about the controversial subject of behavioral genetics. The project was supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. While writing Time, Love, Memory, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University from 1995-1997. Weiner's latest book, His Brother's Keeper,2004 , is the story of a young entrepreneur who gambles on the risky science of gene therapy to try to save his brother's life. While working on His Brother's Keeper, he was writer-in-residence at Rockefeller University. His Brother's Keeper was chosen by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2004. Weiner currently teaches science writing at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and lives in New York with his wife and their two sons.


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