This time around, Page 3.14 interviews the ever-moving Chris Mooney, Seed Washington Correspondent and blogger at The Intersection and Speaking Science 2.0. Mooney’s new book about hurricanes and global warming, Storm World, hit bookstore shelves on Sunday.
What’s your name?
Christopher Cole Mooney. Aka Chris Mooney.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
If my blog is dormant, it usually means I’m traveling. If you mean hobbies when I’m at home, I’m a hanging out kinda guy. I like to go out to long dinners and bars. And I exercise a lot. My specialty is watching Star Wars movies while running on the treadmill.
What is your blog called?
What’s up with that name?
It’s a metaphor. Since I founded the blog in late 2003, others have had the same bright idea.
How long have you been blogging, anyway?
Almost since the very beginning. We founded Tapped, the American Prospect blog, in 2002.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Mesa, Arizona; grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana; and I have been in D.C. now, off and on, for six years. I’m still not sure it’s home.
Your first book, The Republican War on Science, got quite a lot of press when it came out—were you surprised?
We knew the book was coming out at a time when the country was ready for that kind of argument. But once everything started happening I was kind of swept along, as if it was a powerful current. So, no, I wasn’t expecting everything that happened.
And now your latest book, Storm World, has just come out. Did this stem from your research on the first book? Or how’d you get interested in this topic?
The first book got me into global warming—but growing up in New Orleans, and watching my family flee Ivan in 2004, made me focus on hurricanes in particular. Then when Katrina came and destroyed my mom’s home, it seemed like a natural thing for me to zoom in on the hurricane-climate question for a book. You might say it was a subject that I was kind of born to write about.
Last book you read?
A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Flagstaff, Arizona: A run in the morning, coffee, reading during the day, a nap, and then a big night out. Not by myself, of course.
What’s your greatest habitual annoyance?
The slow middle elevator in my building.
What’s your most marked characteristic?
I’m a recovering workaholic.
What’s your fatal flaw?
What would you like to be?
A professional soccer player and then a professional musician—five years of each. And then go back to being a writer.
You and Matt Nisbet have started a new blog, Speaking Science 2.0. How’d that project come about?
Lotsa long conversations while jogging together in D.C. made us realize there was a need for someone to challenge a lot of old assumptions about what makes for effective science communication. And indeed, that’s a chief theme of Storm World: Scientists are great with the facts, the data. But often nothing in their training prepares them to go before the media.
How’s it feel to be named “sexiest geek” by Wired magazine?
Let’s just say that I didn’t mind being objectified on that particular occasion.
Read what other ScienceBloggers are saying about Chris’s new book, Storm World.