John Horgan (jhorgan)

John Horgan

Teaching Assistant Professor and Director of the Stevens Center for Science Writings

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


  • MS (1983) Columbia University School of Journalism (journalism)
  • BA (1982) Columbia University School of General Studies (English)


I have always been interested in the limits of science and other modes of knowledge. This is the major theme of my books, The End of Science, The Undiscovered Mind, Rational Mysticism, Mind-Body Problems, Pay Attention and My Quantum Experiment. My interest in the causes of war and peace culminated in my 2012 book The End of War, published by McSweeney's. I also write about a wide variety of other science-related topics for Scientific American and other publications.

General Information

I teach three courses a semester at Stevens while continuing my career as a science writer. I have written seven books and more than 600 articles for Scientific American and other publications. My online column for Scientific American attracts more than one million viewers a year. I continue to direct the Stevens Center for Science Writings, which hosts 2-3 talks a semester by authors of books on science and technology.


1997-Present. Freelance science writer.
Articles published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, London Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, New Republic, Discover, Science, New Scientist, Technology Review, Slate, and elsewher. Columnist for since 2010.

1986-1997. Senior Writer, Scientific American Magazine.
Wrote over 400 articles on science, technology, medicine, mathematics, philosophy, and national security. Also edited articles and managed news section.1983-1986. Associate Editor, IEEE Spectrum Magazine. Wrote and edited articles on technology and its social implications.

Institutional Service

  • Frontiers of Technology Quantum Technology Committee Member
  • Center for Science Writings Chair
  • Science and Technology Studies (STS) Member
  • Center for Science Writings Chair
  • Stevens Public Relations Member
  • Center for Science Writings, Director Chair
  • Center for Science Writings Chair


I have been appointed to serve on numerous Stevens search committees, which have resulted in the hiring of key faculty members in Science and Technology studies and other programs.
I am now serving on a committee, under the auspices of the Stevens "Frontiers of Technology" initiative, designing a course on quantum technology for undergraduates.

Honors and Awards

2009. Included in Best American Science Writing, edited by Natalie Angier.

2007. Included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, published by Houghton Mifflin (also in 2005 and 2006 editions).

2005. Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion.

1997. American Psychiatric Association Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Reporting on Psychiatric Issues.

1994. American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award.1994. "Excellent" rating from Forbes Media Guide: A Review of the Nation’s Most Influential Journalists.

1993. National Association of Science Writers Science-in-Society Award.1993. New York Business Press Editors Award.

1992. American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award.

1986. Co-winner with other editors of IEEE Spectrum of National Magazine Award for Best Single-Topic Issue.

1985. Society of National Association Publications Award for Investigative Reporting.

Selected Publications

2023: My Quantum Experiment: Published online ( and in Amazon paperback and e-book editions.
2020 Pay Attention: Sex, Death and Science. Fictionalized memoir, Terra Nova Press.
2018. Mind-Body Problems: Science, Subjectivity & Who We Really Are. Published online ( and in Amazon paperback and e-book editions.
2012. The End of War, McSweeney's Books. Revised paperback edition published 2014.
2004. Contributed to Within the Stone, a collection of photographs and essays published by Brown Trout.
2003. Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality, Houghton Mifflin.
2002. Co-authored, with Reverend Frank Geer, Where Was God on September 11?, Brown Trout.
1999. The Undiscovered Mind: How the Mind Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation, Free Press.
1996. The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age. Reissued with new preface by Basic Books, 2015.
1983-Present. Over 1,000 articles, columns and reviews for Scientific American and other publications.


HST470: War and Science.
HST401: Seminar in Science Writing.
CAL103: Freshman Writing and Communication.
CAL105: Humanities Colloquium.
CAL498: Senior Thesis.