Series features Johnson and Blakeslee

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By Special to the Monitor

The Authors Speak Series kicks off a brand new line up beginning at 7 p.m. in the upstairs rotunda of Mesa Public Library Jan. 27 with two science writers, both frequent contributors to the New York Times.
Scientist or not, everyone is welcome to the free talk by these professionals who also run the annual Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop each summer. The authors will offer tips of the trade on the basics of how to translate complex scientific information into language accessible to laymen.
George Johnson has written about science for the New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, Slate, Scientific American, Wired, The Atlantic and other publications. The author of numerous books, his most recent books are “The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments,” which is being translated into 15 languages; and “Miss Leavitt’s Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe.” Other books include “Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics” and “Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order,” which were finalists for the Royal Society Science Book Prizes.
A winner of the AAAS Science Journalism Award, he is co-director, with Sandra Blakeslee, of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop and a former Alicia Patterson fellow. A graduate of the University of New Mexico and American University, his first reporting job was covering the police beat for the Albuquerque Journal. He lives in Santa Fe and can be found on the Web at talaya.net.
Sandra Blakeslee, a science writer based in Santa Fe, has spent nearly all of her career writing for the New York Times, both as a staff writer and on contract. She also writes books. The latest is “Sleights of Mind” — what the neuroscience magic reveals about our everyday deceptions — written with two neuroscientists, Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez Conde.  
For the past 15 years, Blakeslee has specialized in the brain sciences, although she is, “… prepared to write on any interesting topic that comes my way. I particularly like stories about the environment, earth sciences and all things biological.”
As the recipient of a Templeton Journalism Fellowship, she spent several weeks in the summer of 2007 at Cambridge University in England, discussing science and religion and she has recently written an article on the neurophysiology of spiritual experience.
Blakeslee graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1965 with a major in political science. She went into the Peace Corps in 1965 and traveled to Sarawak, Borneo, where she lived upriver and taught elementary school. Upon
returning in 1967, she was hired at the United Nations bureau of the New York Times as a clerk and, as she said, “the rest is history.”
The Santa Fe Science Writing workshop,
scheduled for May 30-June 4, 2011 will celebrate 16 years.