Michael Riordan

Posting Citizen Journalist • 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. His book "The Hunting of the Quark" is available at: http://plunkettlakepress.com/hoq.html

Articles by Michael Riordan

Variant Virus Strains Hit the County

By Michael RiordanOn May 08, 2021

Across the northern tier of Whatcom County, there were substantially higher rates of coronavirus infections than in Bellingham during April, according to recent data from the county health department. From [...]

A Variant Virus Outbreak in Whatcom County?

By Michael RiordanOn Mar 12, 2021

According to recent data from the Washington state Department of Health, a serious outbreak of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain occurred in Whatcom County during February, about a month earlier than [...]

Planned Roberts Bank Terminal Threatens Orcas

By Michael RiordanOn Jan 26, 2021

Less than a mile north of the border, the Port of Vancouver is planning an enormous new container-ship terminal on the Salish Sea that Canada’s Federal Review Panel has [...]

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Recent comments

"Many thanks for the extremely relevant and timely question, Dick. It turns out that the county health department has just this week begun publishing vaccination rates by school district, and [...]

May 20, 2021 on
Variant Virus Strains Hit the County

"May 19 Update Based on the county coronavirus data from last week (through 5/14 I presume) that was just published yesterday, I looks like the Covid-19 outbreaks in Blaine, Ferndale and Nooksack [...]

May 19, 2021 on
Variant Virus Strains Hit the County

"This question is way beyond my pay grade — as I’m a physicist, not a microbiologist — but I’ll try to give an intelligible answer. Maybe someone else [...]

May 11, 2021 on
Variant Virus Strains Hit the County

"The Avamere outbreak sounds like it may have been caused by the P.1 variant, which is known from Brazil to reinfect those who have already had Covid-19. I’m guessing [...]

May 10, 2021 on
Variant Virus Strains Hit the County

"Thanks, Dick, for both of your comments. On the first, I wholeheartedly agree. I forget that I was trained as a scientist to be able to quantify ambiguity and therefore [...]

May 09, 2021 on
Variant Virus Strains Hit the County