Town Hall 8 Richard Harris
From Kenneth Kaplan
Richard has traveled the world, from the South Pole and the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic Ocean, reporting on climate change. The American Geophysical Union honored him with a Presidential Citation for Science and Society.
In 2014, he turned his attention back to biomedical research and came to realize how the field was suffering. Too many scientists were chasing too little funding. That led him to take a year-long sabbatical at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes to research and write Rigor Mortis. It is his first book.
Richard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at UC-Santa Cruz. He graduated with highest honors and spoke at commencement. In his first full-time reporter job, at the Livermore (Calif.) Tri-Valley Herald, he discovered that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was working on a new generation of nuclear weapons — ones that use nuclear explosives to generate energy beams. Scientists at the time contemplated putting these weapons in space to shoot down incoming missiles.