Pulitzer-Prize-winning science journalist and author Deborah Blum and I have been friends for just under forty years. I was her first supervisor in the newspaper business at The Madisonian in Madison, Georgia, when I'd first been hired as associate editor, and she was a summer intern from the University of Georgia.
She's honored the writing profession hugely and has been a college professor for many years now, along with being a much-honored bestselling author of books. One of her best books, The Poisoner's Handbook, was just turned into an absolutely marvelous two-hour PBS American Experience special. Though it aired last week nationally, it's online:
Deborah is all the way through the show on camera, talking about the days when people were poisoned accidentally and very much on purpose. Her book and the show are about the brilliant forensic chemists who learned how poisons work in the human body. They also were the origins of today's endlessly interesting crime scene scientists and their work.
Deborah is as intelligent a person as I've ever known. She is also one of the nicest and funniest people on planet Earth. Do yourself a favor and set aside the time to watch this grand documentary.