Selected Work

What Should America Do with Its Nuclear Waste?

Currently there are about 80 locations in 35 states where spent fuel is being stored, with no long-term plans for disposal.

Originally published April 11, 2022 in Washington Post Magazine

A little more than a decade ago, Marni Magda was reading Scientific American magazine in her living room when she came across an infographic titled “Aging Fleet under Review.

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What Masks Signify

Decades ago, the sociologist Erving Goffman had the answer

Originally published October 2, 2021 in The American Scholar

In the spring of 2020, when masks abruptly became a common sight in the United States, they introduced a new element into our social relations. They hampered our ability to communicate, muffling our voices and hiding our smiles.

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Unsentimental Education

Mary Ware Dennett’s quest to make contraception—and knowledge about sex—available to all

Originally published March 4, 2021 in The American Scholar

The defendant was a gray-haired grandmother. In the courtroom in downtown Brooklyn, she sat silently as the prosecutor, James E. Wilkinson, read aloud a document she had written—a document that, according to the indictment, was “obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy, vile and indecent.

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The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power

In the face of climate change, some environmentalists are fighting not to close power plants but to save them.

Originally published February 19, 2021 in The New Yorker

In 2004, Heather Hoff was working at a clothing store and living with her husband in San Luis Obispo, a small, laid-back city in the Central Coast region of California. A few years earlier, she had earned a B.S. in materials engineering from the nearby California Polytechnic State University.

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Among the Nonbelievers

How has religious experience changed in a secular age?

Originally published December 28, 2020 in The Nation

Last May, the writer Tara Isabella Burton published a piece in the New York Times Sunday Review about a nascent faith community.

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