David Epstein is an investigative reporter who covers the wide-open space where sports, science and medicine overlap.
David Epstein writes about the developing science around sport -- from performance-enhancing drugs to the lucky genetics that separate a professional athlete from a duffer. A science writer and longtime contributor to Sports Illustrated,
he's helped break stories on steroids in baseball, fraudulently marketed health remedies, and big-money irregularities in "amateur" college football. In 2007, inspired by the death of a childhood friend, he wrote a moving exploration of the most common cause of sudden death in young athletes, a hard-to-diagnose heart irregularity known as HCM.
Now an investigative reporter at ProPublica
, Epstein is the author of The Sports Gene,
a book that explores the complex factors that make up a championship athlete. Is there such a thing as natural greatness, or can even extreme skills -- like the freaky-fast reaction of a hockey great -- be learned? Conversely, is the desire and will to master extreme skills something you're born with?