Writing Sample s  
   
 
 
 

As a teenager reading The New Yorker, I came to realize that some writers can compel you to read something that, on the face of it, should be boring, whereas other writers seem able to make sex or death uninteresting.  The ability to construct elegant arguments from complex data, to make seemingly trivial findings bear on important questions, to put things in a larger context, to seize the reader and make them finish reading the piece; that should be the measure of what sets a professional writer apart from the non-professional.  Clarity is essential, but it is not sufficient.  There is also a distinction between writing and word-smithing, between art and craft, and there is always room for good writing.

 

"It is not possible to be a biologist without accepting the basic tenets of evolution, just as it is not possible to be an astrophysicist without accepting gravity.  It is not that evolution is a belief system; evolution is an incredibly elegant, simple, powerful, direct, testable, and compelling sets of ideas.  Evolution is a "theory" in the same sense that gravity is a "theory"; though there are aspects of gravity that are not fully understood, we won't fly off into space while we argue the details."
                           The Evolving Brain, Prometheus Books, 2007

"A child with sickle cell disease (SCD) has a risk of stroke that is roughly 221-fold higher than a healthy child.  Although the cause of brain injury is not well understood, there is a general consensus that brain injury in SCD can be associated with vasculopathy.  Yet there has been controversy as to whether brain injury is primarily related to large vessel disease or to small vessel disease or to a combination of both forms of vasculopathy."

                          Steen et al, 2003, Ann. Neurol. 54: 564-572