Mara Hvistendahl is an award-winning writer and journalist specialized in the intersection of science, culture, and policy. 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, Popular Science, Foreign Policy, and other publications. Proficient in Spanish and Chinese, 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 appeared as a guest on NPR Morning Edition, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Show, Marketplace, and BBC Radio 4.
A former contributing editor at Seed magazine, correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education, 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 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.