Biographical Information

John Tierney is a science writer. His book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Greatest Strength (Penguin Press, 2011), was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into 20 languages. He is a contributing editor to City Journal and a contributing columnist to the science section of the New York Times. He is also a public speaker and frequent guest on “CBS This Morning,” Fox News’ “Red Eye,” and Fox Business’ “Kennedy.”

Willpower, co-written with the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, tells the story of scientists’ rediscovery of willpower and its implications outside the laboratory. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, the psychologist Steven Pinker called Willpower “an immensely rewarding book, filled with ingenious research, wise advice and insightful reflections on the human condition.”

During more than two decades at the Times, Tierney has been a science columnist, an Op-Ed columnist and a staff writer for the Times Magazine. He wrote about New York in a column, The Big City, which ran in the Times Magazine and in the Metro section.

Tierney is the author of The Best-Case Scenario Handbook (Workman Publishing, 2002), which explains, among other things, how to deal with a broken ATM spewing cash, how to accept the Nobel Peace Prize and even how to cope with a polite teenage child. Tierney is also the co-author, with Christopher Buckley, of the comic novel, God Is My Broker: A Monk Tycoon Reveals the 7 ½ Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth. A parody of self-help books, it tells the story of Brother Ty, a failed Wall Street trader who becomes a monk and rescues his impoverished monastery by receiving stock tips from God. It has been translated into French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Prior to joining the Times, Tierney was a contributing editor to Discover and Health magazines, a staff writer at Science 81-85 magazine, a reporter for the Washington Star and the Bergen Record, and a free-lance writer. His reporting took him to all seven continents. He published articles in The Atlantic, Esquire, New York Magazine, Newsweek, Reason, Rolling Stone, Washington Monthly, Playboy, Outside, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Tierney received the 2014 Julian Simon Prize from the Competitive Enterprise Institute for his writing about economic and environmental issues. He has won awards from American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Physics and the New York Publishers Association. He has been a Poynter Fellow at Yale and a media fellow at the Freedom Forum at Columbia University.

Want to book John as a speaker? Get in touch!

Contact John