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

"It’s too bad Larry wants to leave Northwest Citizen, as we were fortunate to have him on board as a good local illustration of the self-delusion gripping parts [...]

Aug 03, 2020 on
There Will Be No Phase 3

"This “conversation” helps explain why Larry Horowitz could vote for the Orange One. After all that’s happened. Makes my head spin.

Aug 03, 2020 on
There Will Be No Phase 3

"Actually, it was. I could smell it five yards away. Which tells us something about airborne transmission of tiny particulates, even outdoors.

Jul 29, 2020 on
Open The WWU Campus In September? What Then The Toll?

"I previously thought that we could open restaurants to 50% of capacity, but that was before I learned about airborne virus transmission via microscopic aerosol droplets. That is undeniably the reason [...]

Jul 29, 2020 on
There Will Be No Phase 3

"In Bellingham you worry about the return of students, but here in the San Juan Islands we worry about the flood of summer tourists, already here, many of them young [...]

Jul 29, 2020 on
Open The WWU Campus In September? What Then The Toll?