Update: April 2015

13 Apr 2015

My "what's new" page provides a running list of hotlinks about my work. This page provides the occasional narrative update.

My new book, Galileo's Middle Finger, came out about four weeks ago, and the reception has been . . . well, nothing short of amazing. Sorta like a dream. Just after it came out, Amazon named the book one of the best new non-fiction books of the month, and it quickly shot to be a bestseller in the medical ethics category. In just a few weeks, it has already gotten great reviews in the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Salon, and a stellar one is coming soon in the New York Times Book Review. (I know because I got to see it!)

Various places have asked me to write for them to bring the book to their audiences, including Retraction Watch and The Scientist, and that has brought in new groups of readers and fascinating mail. The Chronicle of Higher Education did a cover feature on my work (with photos of my writing cottage!) for their Review and that led to connecting with a lot of like-minded souls. I've gotten to talk with Dan Savage on the Lovecast about the book, with Kelly Hills on Virtually Speaking Science, and live with Eddie Arruza on Chicago Tonight. (Click on the photo to see that interview.)

People reading it -- friends, colleagues, strangers -- have been sending the most remarkable mail, full of their own stories that relate to the content. (That and all the media are the main reasons I haven't yet been blogging much about the book.)

My other work has also been going well this past year. I helped put out an important new medical school curriculum guide for the Association of American Medical Colleges on the care of people who may be LGBT, gender nonconforming, and/or born with a Difference of Sex Development (see my article on it for Slate), and I'm following up by co-chairing the committee on DSD curricular change. One of my essays at Pacific Standard—about talking to kids honestly about sex—went viral and was named by Buzzfeed a "top read of the week." A follow-up essay was tweeted by Dan Savage and Nicholas Kristof. I was also privileged to contribute to Pacific Standard an article with Helen Haskell on the Jahi McMath story. And this past year I had the pleasure of editing what some say is the best issue of Atrium yet (even it freaked my poor brand-obsessed dean out).

In the next year, Françoise Baylis and I will be putting together a collection of first-person troublemaker stories in Bioethics for Cambridge University Press (working title: Bioethics in Action) and I'm working up an idea for a new mainstream book for my magical agent, Betsy Lerner. Meanwhile I've been doing a bunch of public lectures, and booking for next year. The talk I gave at UC Davis's medical school--on reasons to add and reasons not to add "I" (intersex) to "LGBT" in medicine--was received with whoops and loud applause, and I'll be giving that talk as a webinar for the AAMC in May.

I'm enjoying cleaning up our spring garden, especially after last summer's hell of trying to finish two books at once while the mate got his medical school re-accredited. (By August our garden looked kind of wild.) The kid, almost 15 years old now, continues to amaze us in his generosity and wisdom. And I think I finally have a shot at an Olympic-length triathlon this August.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: leaning out is the best thing I ever did.