In this first of two episodes, Kenneth Miller chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing Mapping the Darkness, The Visionary Scientists who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep, a group biography of four scientists who set out to answer two questions: “Why do we sleep?” and “How can we sleep better?”

Kenneth Miller’s “Mapping the Darkness” takes on the turbulent study of sleeping, its heroes and villains and its ongoing fight for respect.

New York Times Book Review 

Kenneth first became interested in the topic of sleep when commissioned to write a magazine article about it. What he discovered fascinated him, inspiring him to write Mapping the Darkness.

During our conversation, Kenneth introduces us to the cast of characters who shaped sleep science. He shares his approach to balancing the scientists’ professional and private lives to create a kaleidoscopic rather than one-dimensional portrait, and why he opened the narrative with the story of a man whose life unravelled because of a mysterious sleep disorder. Mapping the Darkness is such a tour de force, we’ll continue our conversation with Kenneth in the next episode.

Kenneth Miller

Kenneth Miller is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Life, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Discover, Aeon, and many other publications. Keneth has reported from four continents on topics including science, medicine, culture, criminal justice, religion, and the environment. Currently a contributing editor for Discover, he has served as the US West Coast editor of Reader’s Digest, a senior editor at People, and a staff writer at Life. He was also a senior writer for Our Times: The Illustrated History of the 20th Century. His honours include the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, the American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Article Award for science writing, and the ASJA’s June Roth Award for medical writing.

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