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.

Articles by Michael Riordan

Canada’s Pipe Dream Threatens the Salish Sea

By Michael RiordanOn Mar 31, 2019

Based in part on an article originally published in Seattle Times Opinions on March 10, 2019. Coauthored with Janet Alderton, whose brief bio appears below. Despite overwhelming opposition from British Columbia, Washington [...]

What Are Our Lawmakers Hiding?

By Michael RiordanOn Feb 25, 2018

In a brazen attempt to suppress public access to existing records of legislators’ activities, the Washington state Senate and House overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 6617 on Friday, February 23, hardly two days [...]

What Is Doug Ericksen Thinking?

By Michael RiordanOn Feb 13, 2018

A recent Seattle Times op-ed by Senator Doug Ericksen (“Trump’s first year has been a resounding success,” 31 January 2018) suggests he has gotten drunk on the Trump Kool-Aid and is [...]

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Recent comments

"I agree that political orientation may indeed be a causative factor for Covid-19 infections, but it seems hard to tease this out from the other, correlated factors. As the old [...]

Jul 04, 2020 on
Is “Being Republican” a Risk to One’s Health and the Health of Others?

"This was not a “new employee of the county” from what I’ve heard (facts are scarce because of privacy concerns) but a new employee of Roche Harbor (a private [...]

Jun 16, 2020 on
An Early-Warning Covid-19 Alert and Response Protocol for San Juan County and Other Seasonal Resort Communities

"That may not be a good assumption, as the SJC Health Department seems to have the original outbreak, which was due to county residents, well under control and probably had [...]

Jun 16, 2020 on
An Early-Warning Covid-19 Alert and Response Protocol for San Juan County and Other Seasonal Resort Communities

"Yes, indirectly. The initial wave ignited on March 10 should still have been propagating into April, but it would take serious computer analysis to determine whether that would continue into June. [...]

Jun 16, 2020 on
A Tale of Two Counties: Re-opening Skagit and Whatcom

"Thanks for doing this analysis, David and Peter. As an Orcas Island resident, I’ve been following the Covid-19 outbreaks in San Juan County, as well as in Skagit and [...]

Jun 16, 2020 on
An Early-Warning Covid-19 Alert and Response Protocol for San Juan County and Other Seasonal Resort Communities