Bina Venkataraman

Bina Venkataraman photo

Bina Venkataraman teaches in the program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and is a fellow at New America. A former journalist for The New York Times and The Boston Globe who also served as senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, she is now director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Venkataraman is an alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School. She grew up in Wooster, Ohio, and now lives in greater Boston.


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Books by Bina Venkataraman

The Optimist's Telescope cover

THE OPTIMIST'S TELESCOPE: THINKING AHEAD IN A RECKLESS AGE (2019): A trailblazing exploration of how we can plan better for the future: our own, our families', and our society's.
Instant gratification is the norm today—in our lives, our culture, our economy, and our politics. Many of us have forgotten (if we ever learned) how to make smart decisions for the long run.
In THE OPTIMIST'S TELESCOPE, Bina Venkataraman draws from stories she has reported around the world and new research in biology, psychology, and economics to show how we can make decisions that benefit us over time. With examples from ancient Pompeii to modern-day Fukushima, she dispels the myth that human nature is impossibly reckless and highlights the surprising practices each of us can adopt in our own lives—and the ones we must fight for as a society.

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