James Gleick

James Gleick (/ɡliːk/;[1] born August 1, 1954) is an American author and historian of science whose work has chronicled the cultural impact of modern technology. Recognized for his writing about complex subjects through the techniques of narrative nonfiction, he has been called "one of the great science writers of all time".[2][3] He is part of the inspiration for Jurassic Park character Ian Malcolm.[4]

Gleick's books include the international bestsellers Chaos: Making a New Science (1987) and The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (2011).[5] Three of his books have been Pulitzer Prize[6][7][8] and National Book Award[9][10] finalists; and The Information was awarded the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2012 and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.[11]

James Gleick
James Gleick color
BornAugust 1, 1954 (age 64)
New York City
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHarvard College
Notable worksThe Information (2011), Genius (1992), Chaos (1987)


A native of New York City, Gleick attended Harvard College, where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson, graduating in 1976 with an A.B. degree in English and linguistics. He moved to Minneapolis and helped found an alternative weekly newspaper, Metropolis. After its demise a year later, he returned to New York and in 1979 joined the staff of the New York Times. He worked there for ten years as an editor on the metropolitan desk and then as a science reporter. Among the scientists Gleick profiled in the New York Times Magazine were Douglas Hofstadter, Stephen Jay Gould, Mitchell Feigenbaum, and Benoit Mandelbrot. His early reporting on Microsoft anticipated the antitrust investigations by the U. S. Department of Justice and the European Commission. He wrote the "Fast Forward" column in the New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 1999, and his essays charting the growth of the Internet formed the basis of his book What Just Happened. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, and the Washington Post, and he is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.

His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science, reported the development of the new science of chaos and complexity. It made the Butterfly Effect a household term, introduced the Mandelbrot Set and fractal geometry to a broad audience, and sparked popular interest in the subject, influencing such diverse writers as Tom Stoppard (Arcadia) and Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park).[12][13]

The Pipeline

In 1993, Gleick founded one of the earliest Internet service providers, The Pipeline, in New York City. It was the first ISP to offer a graphical user interface, incorporating e-mail, chat, Usenet, and the World Wide Web, through software for Windows and Mac operating systems.[14][15] The software, created by Gleick's business partner, Uday Ivatury, was licensed to other Internet service providers in the United States and overseas. Gleick sold the Pipeline in 1995 to PSINet, and it was later absorbed into MindSpring and then EarthLink.[16][17]

Aircraft accident

On December 20, 1997, Gleick was attempting to land his Rutan Long-EZ experimental plane at Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, New Jersey when a build-up of ice in the engine's carburetor caused the aircraft engine to lose power and the plane landed short of the runway into rising terrain.[18] The impact killed Gleick's eight-year-old son and left Gleick seriously injured.[19]


Gleick's writing style has been described as a combination of "clear mind, magpie-styled research and explanatory verve."[20] After the publication of Chaos, Gleick collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter on Nature's Chaos and with developers at Autodesk on Chaos: The Software. He was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University in 1989–90. He was the first editor of The Best American Science Writing series.

His next books included two biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, and Isaac Newton, which John Banville said would "surely stand as the definitive study for a very long time to come."[21]

Gleick was elected president of the Authors Guild in 2017.


  • 1987 Chaos: Making a New Science, Viking Penguin (ISBN 0670811785); revised edition 2008 (ISBN 0143113453)
  • 1990 (with Eliot Porter) Nature's Chaos, Viking Penguin. (ISBN 0316609420)
  • 1992 Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, Pantheon Books. (ISBN 0679747044)
  • 1999 Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, Pantheon. (ISBN 067977548X)
  • 2000 (editor) The Best American Science Writing 2000, HarperCollins. (ISBN 0060957360)
  • 2002 What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Electronic Frontier, Pantheon. (ISBN 0375713913)
  • 2003 Isaac Newton, Pantheon. (ISBN 1400032954)
  • 2011 The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon Books. (ISBN 9780375423727 )
  • 2016 Time Travel: A History, Pantheon Books. (ISBN 0307908798)[22]


  1. ^ "James Gleick Interview and Reading" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Study Guide: James Gleick". E Notes.
  3. ^ Doctorow, Cory (March 24, 2011). "James Gleick's tour-de-force: The Information, a natural history of information theory". Boing Boing. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  4. ^ https://study.com/academy/lesson/chaos-effect-in-jurassic-park.html
  5. ^ "James Gleick: Bibliography". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Gleick, James. "1988 Finalists". Chaos: Making a new Science. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  7. ^ Gleick, James. "1993 Finalists". Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  8. ^ Gleick, James. "2004 Finalists". Isaac Newton. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  9. ^ Gleick, James. "National Book Awards - 1987". Chaos: Making a New Science. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  10. ^ Gleick, James. "National Book Awards - 1992". Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  11. ^ Gleick, James. "About". Bits in the Ether. Author's website. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  12. ^ Delaney, Paul (1994). Tom Stoppard in Conversation. University of Michigan Press. p. 224.
  13. ^ Crichton, Michael (1990). Jurassic Park. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 400.
  14. ^ Batelle, John (November 1994). "Pipeline". Wired. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  15. ^ Michalski, Jerry (January 31, 1994). "Pipeline: Not Just Another Pretty Face" (PDF). Release 1.0. pp. 9–11. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  16. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (February 11, 1995). "Performance Systems Buys Pipeline Network". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  17. ^ "Psinet to Sell Consumer Internet Division". The New York Times. July 2, 1996. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  18. ^ "FA ID: NYC98FA047". National Transportation Safety Board. US Government. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Untitled (NYC98FA047 crash narrative)". National Transportation Safety Board. US Government. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Karen Long on James Gleick's The Information". February 7, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  21. ^ Banville, John (August 29, 2003). "The Magus". The Guardian. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  22. ^ Reisert, Sarah (2017). "It's about Time". Distillations. 3 (2): 46–47.

External links

James Gleick talks about The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood on Bookbits radio.

Deletionpedia is an online archive wiki containing articles deleted from the English Wikipedia. Its version of each article includes a header with more information about the deletion such as whether a speedy deletion occurred, where the deletion discussion about the article can be found and which editor deleted the article. The original Deletionpedia operated from February to September 2008. The site was restarted under new management in December 2013.The site is based on MediaWiki. The site functions as something of a "wikimorgue"; it automatically collects articles deleted from Wikipedia.In addition to categories preserved from Wikipedia, Deletionpedia has its own categories for articles, based upon the deletion criteria. Pages are organized by the month in which they were deleted, by the number of editors that had worked on a page and by the length of time the article had existed on Wikipedia.Deletionpedia states that it avoids hosting deleted pages that are copyright violations, pages with serious libel problems, pages whose full revision history is still available on Wikipedia's sister sites, and pages which set out to offend others.Articles preserved by Deletionpedia were deleted from Wikipedia for a variety of reasons, from "being not notable" to "manipulation by political and business interests". Since the site was read-only, it sought no donations, suggesting instead that supporters donate to mySociety or to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Drums in communication

Developed and used by cultures living in forested areas, drums served as an early form of long-distance communication, and were used during ceremonial and religious functions.


Gleick is the surname of:

James Gleick (born 1954), American author, journalist and biographer

Peter Gleick (born 1956), American scientist

Joint Policy Board for Mathematics

The Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) consists of the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

The Board has nearly 55,000 mathematicians and scientists who are members of the four organizations.

Each April, JPBM celebrates Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month (previously, the month was called Mathematics Awareness Month) to increase public understanding of and appreciation for mathematics and statistics. The event was renamed by the JPBM in 2017. To simplify coordination efforts, the JPBM also decided in 2017 that there will no longer be an annual assigned theme for the month. This celebration of mathematics, and now mathematics and statistics, began as Mathematics Awareness Week in 1986.

List of After Words interviews first aired in 2011

After Words is an American television series on the C-SPAN2 network’s weekend programming schedule known as Book TV. The program is an hour-long talk show, each week featuring an interview with the author of a new nonfiction book. The program has no regular host. Instead, each author is paired with a guest host who is familiar with the author or the subject matter of their book.

Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science

The Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science is given annually by the Phi Beta Kappa Society to authors of significant books in the fields of science and mathematics. The award was first given in 1959 to anthropologist Loren Eiseley.

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

The Pulitzer Prize for Biography is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography, autobiography or memoir by an American author or co-authors, published during the preceding calendar year. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.

Richard Feynman

Richard Phillips Feynman (; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Along with his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard C. Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think? and books written about him such as Tuva or Bust! by Ralph Leighton and the biography Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick.

Robert Shaw (physicist)

Robert Stetson Shaw (born 1946) is an American physicist who was part of Eudaemonic Enterprises in Santa Cruz in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1988 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in chaos theory.

Rutan Long-EZ

The Rutan Model 61 Long-EZ is a homebuilt aircraft with a canard layout designed by Burt Rutan's Rutan Aircraft Factory. It is derived from the VariEze, which was first offered to homebuilders in 1976. The prototype, N79RA, of the Long-EZ first flew on June 12, 1979.

In 1997, Dick Rutan and Mike Melvill flew two Rutan Long-EZ aircraft that they had built, side-by-side around the world. This "around the world in 80 nights" flight was called The Spirit of EAA Friendship World Tour, and some legs of it lasted for over 14 hours.

Six nines in pi

A sequence of six 9s occurs in the decimal representation of the number pi (π), starting at the 762nd decimal place. It has become famous because of the mathematical coincidence and because of the idea that one could memorize the digits of π up to that point, recite them and end with "nine nine nine nine nine nine and so on", which

seems to suggest that π is rational. The earliest known mention of this idea occurs in Douglas Hofstadter's 1985 book Metamagical Themas, where Hofstadter states

I myself once learned 380 digits of π, when I was a crazy high-school kid. My never-attained ambition was to reach the spot, 762 digits out in the decimal expansion, where it goes "999999", so that I could recite it out loud, come to those six 9's, and then impishly say, "and so on!"

This sequence of six nines is sometimes called the "Feynman point", after physicist Richard Feynman, who has also been claimed to have stated this same idea in a lecture. It is not clear when, or even if, Feynman made such a statement, however; it is not mentioned in published biographies or in his autobiographies, and is unknown to his biographer, James Gleick.

Stephen Brown (playwright)

Stephen Brown is best known as a playwright but has also been a publisher and writer.

The Best American Science Writing

The Best American Science Writing is a yearly anthology of popular science articles published in the United States, which commenced publication in 2000. The books are published by Ecco Press (HarperCollins). As of 2013 the series editor is Jesse Cohen. Cohen was preceded as series editor by Alan Lightman. The series is unrelated to the Best American Series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The Pipeline

The Pipeline was one of the earliest American Internet service providers. It was founded in December 1993 in New York City by the science and technology writer James Gleick and computer programmer Uday Ivatury, who had met at the Manhattan Bridge Club and shared an interest in online bridge. Both men believed that a graphical user interface would make the Internet more widely accessible than the command-line Unix commands that were then generally necessary.When the Pipeline was established, the major online services of the day—America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy—provided their users with no access or very limited access to the internet. Many users welcomed Pipeline as "AOL for the Internet". The software was distributed in the then-popular Book + CD format.

The Pipeline was noted for its point-and-click user interface, which made e-mail, chat, Usenet, the World Wide Web, FTP, and other Internet features easily accessible to users. Gleick and Ivatury licensed the Pipeline software through InterCon Systems Corporation to more than 15 other Internet service providers, including Ireland On-Line and Caltech.The Pipeline was purchased in February 1995 by PSINet, which expanded Pipeline service nationwide. Another feature introduced by PSInet was flat pricing for unlimited Internet usage.In July 1996, PSINet sold its consumer Internet operations, including the Pipeline, to MindSpring. MindSpring discontinued the use of the Pipeline brand, although former Pipeline customers could continue to use their e-mail addresses in the Pipeline domain. Three years later, MindSpring merged with EarthLink. Earthlink, too, allows former Pipeline customers to use their Pipeline e-mail addresses.

Undocumented feature

Undocumented features also known using the term Feature, not a bug are software features that are frequently found in software releases. Sometimes the documentation is omitted through simple oversight (forgetfulness), but undocumented features are often essential elements of the software that are not intended for use by end users, but left available for use by the vendor for software support and development.

Since the suppliers of the software usually consider the software documentation to constitute a contract for the behavior of the software, undocumented features are generally left unsupported, and may be removed or changed at will and without notice to the users.

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