William Broad

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William Broad
William Broad.jpg
Broad in 2005
BornMarch 7, 1951 (1951-03-07) (age 68)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin
OccupationScience writer, journalist
Known forThe Oracle
Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War
Betrayers of the Truth
AwardsPulitzer (twice)[1]
Distinguished Service to Journalism (University of Wisconsin)
Science-in-Society (National Association of Science Writers)

William J. Broad (born March 7, 1951) is an American science journalist, author and a Senior Writer at The New York Times.


Broad earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1977.[2]

Journalism career[edit]

Broad is the author or co-author of eight books, most recently The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (Simon & Schuster, 2001) was a number-one New York Times Best Seller. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His other titles include The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea (Simon & Schuster, 1997); Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception (Simon & Schuster, 1992); and with co-author Nicholas Wade, Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science (Simon & Schuster, 1982).

Broad's work focuses on the social repercussions of science.[2]

In 2009, he received criticism for an article on the sustainability of the blue grenadier fish from representatives of the New Zealand fishing industry.[3]

In 2012, the American yoga community roundly criticised Broad for his writings on the health effects of yoga.[4] from several respected yoga leaders, including in an Elephant Journal article by Mark Stephens.[5]


Broad has won two shared Pulitzer Prizes, an Emmy, and a DuPont. The 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism recognized New York Times staff coverage of U.S. antimissile defense in space, or Star Wars: "a six-part comprehensive series on the Strategic Defense Initiative, which explored the scientific, political and foreign policy issues involved in 'Star Wars'."[6] The 1987 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting recognized New York Times staff coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster: "the aftermath of the Challenger explosion, which included stories that identified serious flaws in the shuttle's design and in the administration of America's space program."[7] In 2002, Broad won the Emmy for a PBS Nova documentary that detailed the threat of bioterrorism, based on his best-selling book Germs. In 2005 he and New York Times colleague David E. Sanger were Pulitzer finalists in the Explanatory Reporting category for their aggressive reporting and lucid writing that cast light on the shadowy process of nuclear proliferation".[8] In 2007, he shared a DuPont Award (with the New York Times team, Investigation Discovery and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the documentary, Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb?[9]


  • Broad, William J. (March 13, 1981). "The Publishing Game: Getting More for Less". Science. 211 (4487): 1137–39. doi:10.1126/science.7008199. PMID 7008199.
  • With Nicholas Wade Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983. ISBN 0-671-49549-6.
  • Star Warriors : A Penetrating Look into the Lives of the Young Scientists Behind Our Space Age Weaponry, Simon & Schuster, NY (1985) ISBN 0-671-54566-3.
  • Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception, Simon & Schuster, NY (1992) ISBN 0-671-70106-1.
  • The Universe Below (1997) New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-81108-1 Also ISBN 978-0-684-81108-6
  • The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Messages of Ancient Delphi (2006). New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-081-5 Also ISBN 978-1-59420-081-6
  • The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards (2012). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-4142-4


Some of Broad's works are reviewed in:


  1. ^ "Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers". Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b About the author, William J. Broad.
  3. ^ Gaines, Richard (September 22, 2009), "New York Times' report on food fish raises New Zealand industry's ire", Gloucester Daily Times
  4. ^ e.g. Broad, William J (January 5, 2012). "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "How Yoga Will Not Wreck Your Body"
  6. ^ "Explanatory Journalism". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  7. ^ "National Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  8. ^ "2005 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  9. ^ "William J. Broad". The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2019.

External links[edit]