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Michael Riordan

Writer • Eastsound, WA • Member since Nov 25, 2016

Michael Riordan writes about science, technology and public policy from Orcas Island, where he lives and kayaks. He holds a PhD degree in physics from MIT, having worked on the experiments that led to the discovery of quarks. He has taught courses about the history of physics and technology at Stanford University and UC Santa Cruz. He is author of "The Hunting of the Quark" as well as coauthor of "The Solar Home Book", "Crystal Fire", "The Shadows of Creation", and — most recently —"Tunnel Visions: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider" (Chicago, 2015). Riordan has published articles and essays in "The New York Times", "Washington Post", "San Francisco Chronicle", "Seattle Times", "Harvard Business Review" and "Technology Review". A Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, he was awarded the 2002 Andrew Gemant Award by the American Institute of Physics in recognition of his efforts communicating physics and its wider cultural implications.

Articles by Michael Riordan

Doug Ericksen’s Use of Surplus Campaign Funds

By Michael RiordanOn Jul 05, 2017

State Senator Doug Ericksen recently came under fire in the Seattle Times for his possible abuse of surplus campaign funds to pay for expenses unrelated to official Washington state business [...]

Burping Tankers Spread Sulfurous Fumes

By Michael RiordanOn Jun 14, 2017

The smelly cloud of sulfurous fumes that wafted over Bellingham Saturday evening, June 3, was apparently not that unusual an occurrence. It happened due to an overpressure on the Italian oil [...]

Senators Benton and Ericksen to Help Gut the EPA

By Michael RiordanOn Jan 29, 2017

Michael Riordan guest writes. He lives on Orcas Island and covers energy and environmental issues. As recently reported, State Senators Don Benton and Doug Ericksen have headed to Washington, DC, [...]

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Recent comments

"Come to think of it, Tim Paxton is absolutely right! Spending the surplus campaign funds to help Doug get a job in the Trump regime would be the best possible [...]

Jul 07, 2017 on
Doug Ericksen's Use of Surplus Campaign Funds

"One of those conservative Republicans, Robert Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — and who is a part-time Orcas Islander, too &[...]

Jun 23, 2017 on
Trump's Withdrawal

"What you experienced was almost certainly emissions from the BP refinery, not a burping tanker. I am writing a follow-on article for the July issue of Whatcom Watch that delves [...]

Jun 20, 2017 on
Burping Tankers Spread Sulfurous Fumes

"I don’t know much about Whatcom County politics, but I do recognize sloppy reasoning when I see it. The “arguments” being put forth by Kathy Kershner and Sam [...]

Jun 06, 2017 on
Smear Campaign

"Sorry for the delay in my replying, but I’ve had much more important things to attend to than this seemingly endless “debate.” Mr. Gigante seems fixated on a Trump “[...]

May 31, 2017 on
100 days: Largest Wash. Trump donor, from Fairhaven, likes what he sees
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