And who was I?
Why was I traveling?
To look, to walk around, to ask, to listen,
to sniff, to think, to write.
–The Soccer War , 1969
M. R. O’Connor is a journalist based in Brooklyn and writes about the politics and ethics of science, technology and conservation. Her work has appeared online in The Atavist, Slate, Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, Nautilus, UnDark and Harper’s. Her first book, Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things, was published by St. Martin’s Press and was one of Library Journal and Amazon’s Best Books of 2015. Her second book, Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World, is an exploration of navigation traditions, neuroscience, and the diversity of human relationships to space, time and memory, and will be published in April 2019. Its writing was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan’s Program for the Public Understanding of Science, Technology, & Economics.
In 2008/2009, O’Connor was a reporter for The Sunday Times, an English-language newspaper in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her investigative reporting on topics like disappearances in Sri Lanka’s civil war, global agriculture trade in Haiti, and American development enterprises in Afghanistan have been funded by institutions such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Phillips Foundation, and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund. For a long time she made her bread and butter as a stringer covering crime, courts and breaking news in New York City for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, and covered the criminal justice beat for the online investigative site The New York World. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.