Steven Johnson’s latest, in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine

March 15, 2023

Steven Johnson‘s latest piece of essential writing appears in this coming weekend’s New York Times Magazine. “The Brilliant Inventor Who Made Two of History’s Biggest Mistakes” is Steven’s fascinating take on inventor Thomas Midgley Jr., who was responsible for two phenomenally destructive innovations – leaded gasoline and commercial chlorofluorocarbons.

Like everything Steven writes, this article is a fascinating historical telling of innovation that leads directly to our current moment. In this case, he makes clear the connections between development of life-changing innovations of almost 100 years ago and unforeseen consequences of contemporary technological advancements.

Steven’s 13 books all look at invention, history, science, and ideas in similarly new and important ways. Some of our favorites: Extra Life, How We Got to Now, Far Sighted, and Where Good Ideas Come From. If you’re not already familiar with Steven’s work, the online version of Sunday’s article is a great place to start – it contains everything that makes his writing great.

Check out Steven’s webpage for more, including summaries of all his books. Find him on Twitter, and register for his newsletter, Adjacent Possible, a recurring source of wonder and insight delivered right to your inbox.

Find The Brilliant Inventor Who Made Two of History’s Biggest Mistakes” here, right now – before Sunday’s New York Times hits the front door.

Find The Brilliant Inventor Who Made Two of History’s Biggest Mistakes” here now – days before Sunday’s New York Times hits the front door.

Steven Johnson

STEVEN JOHNSON is the bestselling author of thirteen books and an expert on the history of ideas and inventions. The Wall Street Journal called him “one of the most persuasive advocates for the role of collaboration in innovation.” His books include The Ghost Map, Where Good Ideas Come From, and most recently Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer, which was also a PBS/BBC television series. Steven is also the host of the podcast American Innovations and the host and co-creator of the Emmy-winning TV series, How We Got To Now. He lives in Brooklyn NY and Marin County, CA with his wife and three sons. 

Check out Steven’s personal invitation to Five Things I’ve Learned about Where Creativity Comes From at

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