Blum is a Pulitzer-Prize winning science writer and the author of five books, most recently The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, a New York Times paperback best seller and one of Amazon's Top 100 Books of 2010. She writes for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Scientific American and Time magazine. She also blogs about chemistry, culture (and the occasional murder) for the Public Library of Science at her blog, Speakeasy Science, blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience.
Blum teaches creative non-fiction, literary journalism and science journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism. She previously was at The Sacramento Bee where she won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for a series on ethical issues in primate research. The series became her first book, The Monkey Wars (Oxford University Press, 1994).
Other books include Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Health (2006) and Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection (2002), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, which will be released in a new paperback edition by Basic Books in July 2011, and Sex on the Brain (1997).
A past president of the National Association of Science Writers (US) , she served on the board of the World Federation of Science Journalists for four years and was program chair for the World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha, Qatar last year. She currently sits on the board of the Council for Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) and The Open Notebook. In her spare time, she hangs out with her husband, two sons, and a very friendly Labrador at her home in Madison, Wisconsin.