Arthur Allen

Photo by Vered Guttmann


Arthur Allen is author of The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, coming in July from WW Norton.

Allen graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1981 and began doing journalism as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press. He covered the war in El Salvador for three years and was based in Germany in the early 1990s. Since 1995 he has been writing articles and books, mostly about science and medicine, for publications such as The Washington Post, Science, Smithsonian, Landscape Architecture, The New Republic and His 2007 book Vaccine was the first major U.S. work to examine the anti-vaccine movement, and he has written many articles about the science and anthropology of vaccines. In 2010 he published Ripe, a foray into the world of tomato breeding, genetics, culture and food snobbism, which allowed him to spend time in southern Italy, Mexico and western China. Allen's life and work have taught him to distrust absolutisms, despite their appeal. He found great inspiration in the life and philosophy of Ludwik Fleck, one of two central characters in his latest book. Allen lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Margaret Talbot, son Ike and daughter Lucy.

Selected Works

From a surrealistic laboratory in occupied Poland comes the story of two great heroes of a forgotten city during WWII.
The first social and scientific history of vaccination, Allen's book tells what vaccines have accomplished and why their development and use has often been troubled.
Combining reportage, archival research, and innumerable anecdotes in a lively narrative seen through the lens of today’s global market, here is a story that will resonate from the greenhouse to the dinner table.

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