David Shenk

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David Shenk is an American writer, lecturer, and filmmaker. He is author of six books, including The Genius in All of Us (2010), Data Smog (1997), The Forgetting (2001), and The Immortal Game (2006), and has contributed to National Geographic,[1] Slate,[2] The New York Times,[3] Gourmet,[4] Harper's,[5] Wired,[6] The New Yorker,[7] The New Republic,[8] The Nation,[9] The American Scholar,[10] NPR[11] and PBS. In mid-2009, he joined TheAtlantic.com as a correspondent.[12] He is a 1988 graduate of Brown University.


Shenk has published the following books:

  • Skeleton Key: A Dictionary For Deadheads (1994) (Co-written with Steve Silberman)
  • Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut (1997)[13]
  • The End of Patience: More Notes of Caution on the Information Revolution (1999)
  • The Forgetting: Alzheimer's, Portrait of An Epidemic (2001)[14]
  • The Immortal Game: A History of Chess (2006)[15]
  • The Genius In All Of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong (2010)


In 2004, PBS broadcast the Emmy award-winning "The Forgetting," which was inspired by Shenk's book of the same name.[16] The film was directed by Elizabeth Arledge.[17] Shenk appeared in the film and served as a writer and consultant.[18] [2]

In 2006, "The Forgetting" was featured on-screen and read aloud in the Sarah Polley film "Away From Her." Polley said that the book was "hugely influential" to her in making the film.[19][20]

In 2007, Shenk wrote, produced and directed four short films on Alzheimer's disease.[21] [3]

Awards & Honors[edit]

  • 1995: Fellow, Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University[22]
  • 1997: Finalist, McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communication Policy[23]
  • 1998: Fellow, The Japan Society[24]
  • 2000: Named one of "10 Masters of the New Economy" by CIO magazine.
  • 2001: The Forgetting awarded First Prize, British Medical Association's Popular Medical Book Awards[25]
  • 2001: The Forgetting picked as An Amazon Top Book of 2001 [26]
  • 2004: Emmy Award for PBS's "The Forgetting"
  • 2004: Shenk's original term "data smog" added to the Oxford English Dictionary[27]
  • 2006: The Immortal Game picked as a Globe and Mail [28] Top Book of 2006 and Toronto Star Top 100 Book of 2006[29]


  1. ^ David Shenk, "THE SURVIVALIST: HOW TO LIVE THROUGH DISASTERS," September, 2006
  2. ^ David Shenk, "Watching You: The World of High-Tech Surveillance," National Geographic, November, 2003
  3. ^ David Shenk, "A Growing Web of Watchers Builds a Surveillance Society," The New York Times, January 25, 2006
  4. ^ David Shenk, "If You Build It," Gourmet, May, 2006
  5. ^ David Shenk, "Biocapitalism," Harper's Magazine, December 1997
  6. ^ David Shenk, "More is Less," Wired, February, 1997
  7. ^ David Shenk, “DEPT. OF TIMING: It’s Never a Good Moment to Ask Americans to Turn off The TV,” The New Yorker, May 10, 1999
  8. ^ David Shenk, “Hating Gates: The Culture of Microsoft Bashing,” Cover story for The New Republic, January, 1998
  9. ^ David Shenk, “Money + Science = Ethics Problems on Campus,” Cover story for The Nation, March 22, 1999.
  10. ^ David Shenk, “Toolmaker, Brain Builder,” The American Scholar, Spring, 2003
  11. ^ David Shenk, "The Problem with Hypertext," National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," May 14, 1997
  12. ^ "David Shenk, "The Genius in All of Us," TheAtlantic.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  13. ^ Columbia Journalism Review: David Shenk on Data Smog
  14. ^ Marion Roach, The New York Times: A Conversation With David Shenk
  15. ^ Michael Dirda, "From ancient Persia to the digital age, people have sat across from each other and said, 'It's your move,'" The Washington Post; Oct 29, 2006; T.15
  16. ^ "About The Forgetting: The Documentary"
  17. ^ "A Discussion Guide for THE FORGETTING"
  18. ^ "Show Description, Cast & Crew," Yahoo TV
  19. ^ "Sarah Polley, Home and 'Away," NPR's The Bryant Park Project, January 9, 2008
  20. ^ About.com
  21. ^ "A Quick Look At Alzheimer's: Four "Pocket" Films to Increase Understanding of a 21st Century Epidemic" "
  22. ^ "13 Media Professionals Named Fellows by Freedom Forum Center," Columbia University Record -- June 9, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 31
  23. ^ Mari Frank, "Protect Your Privacy in the Information Age," KUCI, Irvine, California
  24. ^ Robert Jamison, Computing Japan magazine, February, 1999
  25. ^ British Medical Association[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Rick Thompson, Writing for Broadcast Journalists, Routledge, 2005
  28. ^ "The Globe 100," The Globe and Mail, Nov. 25, 2006
  29. ^ Random House Canada

External links[edit]