John Horgan (American journalist)

Infobox journalist
name = John Horgan

birthname =
birth_date =
birth_place =
age =
education = Columbia University School of Journalism (1983)
occupation = Science writer, Author
alias = "Chip" Horgan
gender = male
status =
title =
family =
spouse = Suzie Gilbert
children =
relatives =
religion = Agnostic
salary =
networth =
credits = author of "The End of Science"; has written for many publications, including "Scientific American", "The New York Times", "Time" and "Newsweek"; frequent guest on
agent =

John Horgan is an American science journalist best known for his 1996 book "The End of Science". He has written for many publications, including "Scientific American", "The New York Times", "Time", "Newsweek", and "IEEE Spectrum". His awards include two Science Journalism Awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Association of Science Writers Science-in-Society Award. His articles have been included in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 editions of The Best American Science and Nature Writing. [ John Horgan - Biography] , accessed October 21, 2007]

Horgan graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1983. Between 1986 and 1997 he was a senior writer at "Scientific American".

"The Death of Proof" and "The End of Science"

His October 1993 "Scientific American" article, "The Death of Proof", claimed that the growing complexity of mathematics, combined with "computer proofs" and other developments, were undermining traditional concepts of mathematical proof. The article generated "torrents of howls and complaints" from mathematicians, according to David Hoffman (one of the mathematicians Horgan interviewed for the article). [David Hoffman, [ book review of "The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age"] , "Notices of the AMS", Volume 45, Number 2 (February 1998), pp. 263. Accessed October 21, 2007.]

Horgan's 1996 book "The End of Science" takes up where "The Death of Proof" leaves off: in it, Horgan argues that pure science, defined as "the primordial human quest to understand the universe and our place in it," may be coming to an end. Horgan claims that science will not achieve insights into nature as profound as evolution by natural selection, the double helix, the big bang, relativity theory or quantum theory. In the future, he suggests, scientists will refine, extend and apply this pre-existing knowledge but will not achieve any more great "revolutions or revelations."

Nobel laureate Phil Anderson's response in a "Physics Today" article in 1999 was strongly criticalFact|date=April 2007, as were many other scientists. A front-page review in the New York Times called the book "intellectually bracing, sweepingly reported, often brilliant and sometimes bullying." Fact|date=October 2007

Later work

In 1999 Horgan followed up "The End of Science" with "The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication and Explanation", which critiques neuroscience, psychoanalysis, psychopharmacology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics, artificial intelligence and other mind-related fields. For his 2003 book "Rational Mysticism,"cite web |url= |title= Dude, Where's My Karma? |author= Dick Teresi |work= The New York Times |date= 23 March 2003 |quote= Book review of Horgan's "Rational Mysticism: Dispatches From the Border Between Science and Spirituality." New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. (ISBN 0-61844-663-X).] he profiled a number of scientists, mystics, and religious thinkers who have delved into the interface of science, religion and mysticism. He presents his personal impressions of these individuals and a sometimes controversial analysis of their contributions to rational mysticism and the relationship between religion and science.

In 2005, Horgan became the Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, NJ. The CSW sponsors lectures by leading science communicators, including psychologist Steven Pinker of Harvard, biologist Lee Silver of Princeton, philosopher Owen Flanagan of Duke, and the New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin. In 2006 the CSW created the annual Green Book Award to honor books with an environmental theme. The first award was given to Edward O. Wilson for his book The Creation. Horgan has been blogging on the Center for Science Writings' website since May 2006.

Media appearances

Horgan has appeared on the Charlie Rose Show, the Lehrer News Hour and many other media outlets in the U.S. and Europe. Currently he is one of the co-hosts (with science writer George Johnson) of "Science Saturday", a weekly discussion related to science topics on the website


*Horgan, John (1996), "The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age." New York: Broadway Books.
*Horgan, John (1999). "The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication and Explanation." New York: Touchstone.
*Horgan, John and Reverend Frank Greer (2002). "Where Was God on September 11? (A Scientist Asks a Ground Zero Pastor)". San Francisco: Browntrout Publishers.
*Horgan, John (2003). "Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality." New York: Houghton Mifflin.


External links

* [ His website]
* [ The Center for Science Writings]
* [ Video discussions] [] [] [] (among many others) at

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