Sam Kean

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Sam Kean
BornSioux Falls, South Dakota
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota,
Catholic University of America

Sam Kean is an American writer. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, Psychology Today, and The New Scientist. He has also published four books which discuss scientific discoveries in a narrative style.[1][2] His books received positive reviews in The Wall Street Journal [3] Library Journal,[4] and The New York Times.[5] He was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and lives in Washington, D.C..

Life and career[edit]

Sam Kean was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He studied Physics and English Literature at the University of Minnesota, and later earned a master's degree in Library Science from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[2]

Currently, Sam Kean is the editor for the 18th edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing and has been featured on multiple NPR's (National Public Radio) shows, such as “Radiolab”, “Science Friday”, “All Things Considered”, and “Fresh Air.”[2]


Sam Kean's work has earned the title of a New York Times bestselling author and various awards and recognition. His four books, The Violinist’s Thumb, The Disappearing Spoon, the Tale of The Dueling Neurosurgeons, and Caesar’s Last Breath were all Amazon's top science book of the year. His book The Disappearing Spoon came second in 2010 for the Royal Society of the London's book of the year. In 2013 and 2015, The Violinist’s Thumb and The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons respectively, were both nominated for the PEN/E.O Wilson award and the AAAS/Suburu prize.[6]



  1. ^ "Sam Kean." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "About." Sam Kean Official Site.
  3. ^ a b Schneider, Howard (2 May 2014). "Book Review: 'The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons' by Sam Kean." The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b Farris, Dale (1 November 2010). "Kean, Sam. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements." Library Journal.
  5. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (4 August 2010). "Hard Science, Softened With Stories" The New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Sam Kean – Sam Kean". Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  7. ^ Radford, Tim (10 November 2011). "The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  8. ^ ""The Violinist's Thumb : And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code" by Sam Kean". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  9. ^ Blincoe, Nicholas (5 August 2014). "The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean, review: 'entertainingly gothic'". The Daily Telegraph.
  10. ^ "'Caesar's Last Breath' Is A Breezy History Of Our Atmosphere". Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  11. ^ Reisert, Sarah (2017). "Air Born". Distillations. 3 (3): 46–47. Retrieved June 21, 2018.

External links[edit]

Official website