Michael Pollan

Research Expertise and Interest

agriculture, environment, obesity, science, nutrition, journalism, food, cooking, gardening

Research Description

Michael Pollan is the author, most recently, of “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.” His previous book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals”, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of “In Defense of Food,” “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World”, “A Place of My Own”, and “Second Nature”. A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. In 2010 he was named to Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper’s Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.

In the News

UC Berkeley launches new center for psychedelic science and education

Fifty years after political and cultural winds slammed shut the doors on psychedelic research, UC Berkeley is making up for lost time by launching the campus’s first center for psychedelic science and public education. With $1.25 million in seed funding from an anonymous donor, the new UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics will conduct research using psychedelics to investigate cognition, perception and emotion and their biological bases in the human brain.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
March 25, 2020
Eleanore Park
Journalism professor Michael Pollan took a 3-month break from caffeine while researching his Audible Original audio book Caffeine. "Everyone is caffeinated," he says. "Until you get off caffeine, you don't realize how universal that state is." In an interview, he talks about his experience and what he's learned. "Sleeping like a teenager again" was one of the key benefits, he says. "It appears to take its toll on Slow Wave Sleep, this critical brief period of deep sleep that we need to reset our brains for the next day and to resynchronize everything."
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