Meet Emily (And Her Animal Assistants)

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For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Emily Anthes, and I’m a science journalist and author. I write about all sorts of things — from the redemption of the dodo to the neverending quest for male birth control — but most of my stories have something to do with human or animal health. (Or both!)

This newsletter is a bit of an experiment, and I’m still noodling over exactly how I’d like to use this platform. For now, at least, I’m planning share my work, including news about my forthcoming book (see below) and behind-the-scenes glimpses of my reporting. I’ll also share other science stories and studies that catch my eye and, in all likelihood, videos of interspecies animal friendships, which happens to be one of my low-key obsessions.

(Speaking of which, here are my own interspecies writing assistants.)

Ok, on with the show! I’m going to use the rest of the newsletter today to tell you a bit more about my book. If you already know all this already, please bear with me. And I promise — I’m going to do more in these newsletters than simply promote the book. I just figured it made sense to start here, so you all know what kinds of topics and issues I’ve been thinking about during the last few years. I’ve got a more substantive newsletter in the works for next week.

The Great Indoors

I have a new book! It’s called The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness, and it will be published on June 23.

Here’s a brief description:

Modern humans are an indoor species. We spend 90 percent of our time inside, shuttling between homes and offices, schools and stores, restaurants and gyms. And yet, in many ways, the indoor world remains unexplored territory. For all the time we spend inside buildings, we rarely stop to consider: How do these spaces affect our mental and physical well-being? Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Our productivity, performance, and relationships?

In this wide-ranging, character-driven book, science journalist Emily Anthes takes us on an adventure into the buildings in which we spend our days, exploring the profound, and sometimes unexpected, ways that they shape our lives. Drawing on cutting-edge research, she probes the pain-killing power of a well-placed window and examines how the right office layout can expand our social networks. She investigates how room temperature regulates our cognitive performance, how the microbes hiding in our homes influence our immune systems, and how cafeteria design affects what — and how much — we eat.

Along the way, Anthes takes readers into an operating room designed to minimize medical errors, a school designed to boost students’ physical fitness, and a prison designed to support inmates’ psychological needs. And she previews the homes of the future, from the high-tech houses that could monitor our health to the 3D-printed structures that might allow us to live on the Moon.

The Great Indoors provides a fresh perspective on our most familiar surroundings and a new understanding of the power of architecture and design. It's an argument for thoughtful interventions into the built environment and a story about how to build a better world — one room at a time.

You can pre-order the book by following any of the following links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundPowells

Or request it at your local, independent bookstore! Pre-orders are crucial for building buzz for a book, so if you’re at all interested in buying a copy, I’d encourage you to pre-order. Also, if you’re a Goodreads user, it would be lovely if you could add The Great Indoors to your “To Read” shelf, which helps increase the book’s visibility on the site. (The Goodreads listing is here.)

I’ve got some fun book-related events (and giveaways!) in the works, so stay tuned for details.

That’s all for today, folks. Thanks for reading! If there’s something in particular you’d like to see in this newsletter, let me know. More soon!


You can read more of my work at my website and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. (You can follow me on Facebook, too, I suppose, but I rarely post there.)