Rensberger has been a science writer or science editor for more than 32 years, beginning in 1966 at The Deroit Free Press. From there he went to The New York Times from 1971 through 1979. He left The Times to freelance and to become head writer of a PBS science series for children, "3-2-1- Contact!" In 1981, he became senior editor of Science 81-Science 84 magazine, a popular monthly published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At the end of 1984 Rensberger went to The Washington Post, where he served as science writer and science editor. At The Post, he created the paper's acclaimed monthly supplement, "Horizon: The Learning Section." He became Director of the Knight Fellowship at MIT in June 1998. Full Biography


  • Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell, 1997 "A wonderfully readable digest of everything currently known about the mechanisms by which living cells perform their myriad tasks" --NY Times This book explains to general readers the cutting edge of research in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. He explores such questions as how cells and their components move and heal wounds, what cancer is, why cells die. Readers discover that--contrary to what we may have concluded from pictures in our high school textbooks--cells teem with activity and that, inside, they 'are more crowded with components than the inside of a computer.' Rensberger also provides an illuminating discussion of AIDS--revealing exactly why this virus is so difficult to defeat--and of cancer, explaining that before cancer can start, a whole series of rare events must occur, events so unlikely that it seems a wonder that anyone gets cancer at all.
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  • Instant Biology: From Single Cells to Human Beings, and Beyond, 1996 Whether you're bewildered by the vast number of organisms inhabiting our planet or just crave a clear and comprehensive explanation of the endoplasmic reticulum, Instant Biology will guide you through the science that brings the very act of living (and dying) to life. From an enlightening walk down the double helix stairway to a look at Darwin's evolutionary musings on the diversity of existence, Instant Biology lays bare the facts of life. But Boyce Rensberger goes beyond the birds and the bees to delight in the details that make science fun, like the stubborn micro-species of mite that insist on living in your eyelashes. From a look at Darwin's evolutionary musings on the diversity of existence to an enlightening walk down the double helix stairway, this guide delivers the science that brings the very act of living (and dying) to life.
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  • The Cult of the Wild, 1986
  • How the World Works: A Guide to Science's Greatest Discoveries, 1977

Related Articles:

  • David Gergen, editor at large of U.S. News & World Report, engages Boyce Rensberger, science writer for the Washington Post, author of Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell (April 25, 1997). PBS Online NewsHour Forum, April 25, 1997
    Check it out!
  • A look at the world of the cell with Boyce Rensberger: As scientists gain greater understanding of DNA, the genetic code and cellular machinery, society is learning new facts about human intelligence, disease and development. Ideas of sexuality and race are being redefined, and cellular research has even made the question of when human life begins more complex. Science has been forced into the ethical quagmire surrounding the abortion debate, and some believe answers to some of society's most fundamental questions rests in this microscopic world (May 16, 1997). PBS Online NewsHour Forum, May 16, 1997
    Check it out!
  • "How Science Responds When Creationists Criticize Evolution"
    Boyce Rensberger, Staff Writer
    Washington Post, January 8, 1997 Maybe you've encountered them, the perfectly nice people who stop you with a statement like, "Well, you know, evolution is just a theory, and it's very controversial, even among scientists." Or maybe they say, "There's no way a bunch of gears and springs in a junk pile could suddenly fall together by accident and become a working watch. The existence of a watch tells you there had to be an intelligent watchmaker." Sometimes, they'll stump you by asserting that, on his deathbed, Charles Darwin renounced his theory of evolution. Usually the people who say these things mean well. But the statements are based on a faulty understanding of biology. Unfortunately, many of us challenged by those who call themselves creationists are not well prepared to respond.
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