Ellen Ruppel Shell, long time contributing editor for The Atlantic, writes and has written on issues of science, social justice, economics and public policy for Science, Scientific American, the New York Times opinion and book pages, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Discover, The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe and the Washington Post. She has served as an editor for a wide range of national publications and for public broadcasting, and is sought frequently as a commentator on issues of science and the press. She is the author of four books.
Her book, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (Penguin, 2009), a narrative investigation of the history, politics, psychology, economics and consequences of low-price consumption in America, was praised as “highly intelligent…a first-rate job of reporting and analysis” by the New York Times Sunday Book Review, and was a best seller in both Canada and South Korea. An earlier work, The Hungry Gene: The Science of Fat and the Future of Thin (Grove/Atlantic), published in six languages, took an unflinching look at the spreading obesity pandemic. Critics called it “enthralling,” written with a “narrative gift that transforms the story of history, science and politics of obesity” into “observant little dramas” that are both “fascinating” and “chilling.” Ruppel Shell speaks both in the U.S. and abroad on consumer culture, economic and environmental issues and the interface between science, public policy and the media.