Mara Hvistendahl is an award-winning author and journalist. A contributing editor and writer for Science magazine based in Shanghai, she has also written for Harper’s, The Atlantic, Scientific American, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Popular Science, Foreign Policy, and other publications. She has spent much of the past decade in China, reporting on everything from archaeology to biotechnology. Her first book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, was selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. She has been featured as a radio and television commentator on MSNBC, BBC, CBC, PRI’s Marketplace, NPR Morning Edition, and elsewhere.
A former contributing editor at Seed magazine and visiting journalism professor at Fudan University, Mara sits on the advisory board of Round Earth Media, an organization founded to promote international journalism. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where her coverage won a National Award for Education Reporting. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in comparative literature and Chinese and a master’s of science in magazine writing from Columbia University School of Journalism. American by birth, she has also lived in the Netherlands and Mexico and covered stories in Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Bolivia, and Tibet, and on a boat in the Adriatic Sea. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.