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Laurel Braitman is a New York Times bestselling author, historian and anthropologist of science. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and other publications. Her last book, Animal Madness (Simon & Schuster 2015) was a NYT bestseller and has been translated into seven languages. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the Medicine & the Muse Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she's busy helping physicians tell better stories--for themselves and their patients. She holds a PhD in Science, Technology and Society from MIT, is a Senior TED Fellow and a Contributing Writer for Pop Up Magazine, a live magazine the New York Times has called a “Sensation.” Her work and collaborations with musicians and artists have been featured on the BBC, NPR, Good Morning America and Al Jazeera. She's taught popular interdisciplinary courses at Stanford School of Medicine, Harvard, MIT, Smith College and elsewhere and is passionate about working with musicians, physicians, scientists, animals and artists. 

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Her next book (forthcoming, Simon & Schuster) is about medicine, family, and mortality. There is also at least one donkey in it. Which was the theme of her bat mitzvah in 1991.

This did not make her as popular as she hoped.

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Laurel loves speaking to audiences large and small about surviving chaos and uncertainty, dealing with loss, bettering our mental health, and the themes of science, medicine and technology. She's given talks and lectures on boats, on land, in art and science museums, while leading walks in the woods, in hotel banquet rooms, at historic theaters, onstage at symphony halls, in Sigmund Freud's old living room, on a pile of hay bales, on a floating platform in the Amazon and once, in the middle of a flea market in Brooklyn while people shopped for handmade candles and eleven dollar bags of granola. Recent lectures and keynote talks include TED, Penn State University, MIT, and the Advertising Women of NY, among others. She is represented by the Lavin Agency. To book laurel contact Charles Yao: cyao@thelavinagency.com.

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Laurel writes about medicine, science, eaglesmental illness, art, dying well, coming of age in the Amazon, and many other things. She also performs live for Pop Up Magazine where her stories have been about endangered species, realizing your parents are people, heroin, psychotherapy and parrots who witness crimes. She's author of the New York Times Bestseller Animal Madness: Inside Their Minds (out in paperback from Simon & Schuster). Inspired by her dog Oliver’s debilitating separation anxiety and aggression, Braitman embarked on a journey around the world to study emotionally disturbed animals and the people who care for them. Her research led her to a remarkable discovery—understanding the emotions of distressed animals can help us better understand our own. This “lovely, big-hearted book” (The New York Times) was listed as one of Discover Magazine’s top five summer reads, a top science read by Wired, and one of Amazon’s best books of the year. Her story was also featured on Good Morning AmericaABC World News Tonight, and other television and radio series around the world. Buy a signed copy here or an unsigned copy anywhere else. Curious about the book? Read the reviews in the New York Times, The New Yorker or listen to her talk about it on NPR or TED Radio Hour.


As the Writer-in-Residence at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Laurel leads afternoon, daylong and multi-day workshops for medical students, residents, fellows and attending physicians. She also teaches courses, has established a live onstage storytelling series for medical students called Talk Rx, and works with students, researchers and physicians one-on-one and in small groups to develop their written and oral communication skills. Find out more about her work helping physicians communicate more easily here.

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In addition to teaching and writing, Laurel works with a select few of the world’s most talented journalists, artists, physicians, scientists, and engineers to help them create powerful narratives that inspire not only the largest audiences but the ones that matter most. She has led strategic research, storytelling and communications workshops and worked with individuals at TED, Google, Harvard University and elsewhere.

To bring her and her team to your organization, please contact laurel@laurelbraitman.com.