An American writer, naturalist, and professor, he is best known for his weekly Boston Globe column, Science Musings. His other works include 365 Starry Nights (1982) and Skeptics and True Believers (1998).
He taught physics at Stonehill College.
He received the 1998 Lannan Literary Award for his work.
He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He married fellow author Maureen Raymo.
His 1993 novel, The Dork of Cork, was made into Frankie Starlight, a 1995 feature film starring Matt Dillon.