February 18, 2016

About the Authors

Tara Haelle

haelleheadshotgalap SQUAREWith two decades of reporting experience under her belt, Tara Haelle has written for a range of publications, including NPR, Slate, Scientific American, Washington Post, Politico, HealthDay, Wired, Muse Magazine, Pacific Standard, and Parents Magazine. She is also a Forbes contributor and a blogger at her evidence-based parenting blog Red Wine & Applesauce. As a health and science reporter, she specializes in reporting on vaccines, pediatrics, prenatal and maternal health, women’s health, mental health, infectious disease, nutrition, obesity and sleep medicine. Yet she also loves writing about sharks and marine life and blogs for the University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Science & the Sea. She is especially passionate about helping parents understand the risks and benefits of vaccines and explaining scientific findings in ways that the average person can easily understand. She is the Medical Studies Core Topic Leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists and a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her nonfiction children’s books include Edible Sunlight and Seasons, Tides, and Lunar Phases.

Tara is also a photographer and multimedia journalist, with images in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Chicago Sun-Times, and Women’s Wear Daily. Tara previously taught high school English and journalism, taught journalism as an adjunct at Bradley University, and has tutored in SAT, ACT, and GRE preparation for more than 10 years. She earned her masters in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin in the city that still holds her heart. Tara was once a world traveler — backpacking, hiking, train-hopping, and motorbiking through more than 40 countries on six continents while eating strange insects, climbing ancient ruins, and swimming with sharks — but that was before she became a mom. Now her trips are shorter, and she often takes her husband and sons on her journeys. She is a nonfiction children’s book writer, avid scuba diver, former-but-soon-training-again triathlete, sometimes yogi, former ballroom dancer, and eternally curious observer of the human condition and the natural world.


Emily Willingham, PhD

EmilyWillinghamEmily Willingham‘s work has appeared online at the New York Times, Slate, Wired, Forbes, Discover, NOVA, and others and in print in Backpacker, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, and local and regional publications. She is also the author of The Complete IG to College Biology. Her writing focuses on health, especially mental health and neurobiology, and debunkery, particularly as it pertains to controversial issues around autism, genetically modified organisms, parenting, and vaccines. Emily is the 2014 recipient of the John Maddox Prize for standing up for science, a joint initiative of Nature and the Kohn Foundation, that rewards an individual who has faced difficulty and hostility in the course of promoting sound, evidence-based science on a matter of public interest.

Emily also serves on the board of the National Association of Science Writers, for which she chairs the fairness committee and co-chairs the membership committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her PhD in biological sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in urology at the University of California-San Francisco. She has taught students of all ages, primarily as a university instructor in scientific writing and biology, focusing on physiology, developmental biology, genetics, and general science. Her writing and editing experience spans a quarter of a century, and she specializes in writing about anything interesting, which keeps her busy. Also keeping her busy are her three three wildling sons, whom she encourages to keeping asking “Why?” unless she’s typing. When she’s not answering their questions or her own, she’s reading, hiking, eating, drinking, and generally being merry and possibly slightly argumentative. You can find her on Twitter, possibly too often, and read more about her at her blog and on Wikipedia.