Stebbins, Michael 1971-

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Stebbins, Michael 1971-


Born 1971. Education: State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.S.; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Ph.D.


Researcher and writer. Federation of American Scientists, Washington, DC, director of biology policy, 2005—. Worked previously as a congressional fellow for U.S. Senator Harry Reid through the National Human Genome Research Institute and the American Society for Human Genetics, as senior editor of Nature Genetics, and as a science advisor to ScienCentral.


Sex, Drugs, and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted, Macmillan (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of the blog Sex, Drugs, and DNA: Science and Health Policy and Politics. Contributor to the Federation of American Scientists Web log Strategic Security Blog. Contributor to periodicals, including Seed and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and to the news source Reuters.


A researcher who heads up the biosecurity project at the Federation of American Scientists, Michael Stebbins has a particular interest in how political agendas and federal involvement have affected science research. Sex, Drugs, and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted is Stebbins's first book, and offers his unique perspective from within the research community of the sometimes disastrous results of misguided science policy. In an interview with Seed contributor Lindsay Borthwick, he described his motivation for tackling the controversial topic: "I was pissed off. After [9/11], the rhetoric … started to affect science in such a horrible way that I just had enough. This book became an experiment. I decided to see how people would respond to a ranting polemic about science, from a scientist's view." Stem cell research, bioterrorism, cloning, genetic engineering, sex education, and global warming all receive attention in the book. Stebbins also includes the narrative of a fictional researcher as he traverses a career in science, highlighting many of the academic and financial pressures. In a review for the Popular Science Web site, Brian Clegg described Sex, Drugs, and DNA as, "without a doubt, a book that anyone who really wants science to succeed should read." Booklist reviewer Ray Olson maintained that the book "argues from fact and knowledge, not hype and politics."



Booklist, April 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Sex, Drugs, and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted, p. 10.


Michael Stebbins Home Page, (July 23, 2007).

Popular Science, (July 23, 2007), Brian Clegg, review of Sex, Drugs, and DNA.

Seed, (May 16, 2006), Lindsay Borthwick, "Mad as Hell: Michael Stebbins Is Not Gonna Take It Anymore."