Thomas Levenson has written three books prior to this one: Ice Time: Climate, Science and Life on Earth; Measure for Measure: A Musical History of Science; and Einstein in Berlin. He is also a film-maker, with ten science documentary films to his credit, several of which were broadcast on British television. His awards include the National Academies Prize for Science Communication, an AAAS award for best science television, and a Peabody Award. He is a professor of science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Massachussets with his wife, film and television designer Katha Seidman and his son Henry, aged eight.