Publishers Marketplace
   site guide
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
   member search
   rights postings
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

David M. Lawrence's first book, Upheaval from the Abyss: Ocean Floor Mapping and the Earth Science Revolution.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This site is a service of Publishers Lunch, the e-mail newsletter known as "publishing's essential daily read." Join the thousands of people who read Lunch every day.
writer :
David Lawrence
6467 Hanna Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
804-305-5234 (mobile)
David M. Lawrence gets a tree-ring sample from a Bermuda cedar on Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean.

My journalistic specialties are a rather odd combination of science and sports writing. In addition to my books, Upheaval from the Abyss: Ocean Floor Mapping and the Earth Science Revolution (Rutgers University Press, 2002) and Huntington's Disease (Chelsea House, 2009), my writing has appeared in publications such as The Science of Dune: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science Behind Frank Herbert’s Fictional Universe and The Science of Michael Crichton: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science behind the Fictional Worlds of Michael Crichton (both published by BenBella Books in 2008), the magazines Geotimes (now Earth), The Lancet, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Mercator's World, and Vegetarian Times; in encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of the Developing World, the Encyclopedia of Genetics, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Magill's Encyclopedia of Science: Plant Life, and Magill's Medical Guide; in newspapers such as The (Charlottesville, Va.) Daily Progress, the Newport News, Va., Daily Press, the Miami Herald, the Parsippany, N.J., Daily Record, The (Petersburg, Va.) Progress-Index, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, The (Shreveport, La.) Times, the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, and The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot; and on the radio programs Our Ocean World and MicrobeWorld.

years experience: 20+

This writer is looking for an agent
Writing, Proposal writing/editing, Research, Line-editing, Copy editing
Biography, History, Health, Sports, Science, Biology, Climate, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment, Geography, Geology, Medicine, Weather
Reviews of Upheaval from the Abyss

Richard Shelton, in The Times Literary Supplement:

"True to his training as a journalist, Lawrence presents his material crisply and directly as a series of adventure stories, each with a chapter to itself. He presents first-hand action aboard ship, in the laboratory and in intellectual argument, and unfolds his scientific theme just as vividly and with all the rigour of the professional scientist. He is as sure-footed in standing us alongside the bored deck hands and seasick scientists of HMS Challenger, examining the results of dredge haul after dredge haul, as in presenting us with the evidence that, although the continents on either side of the Atlantic are moving apart in a way congruent with the spherical geometry of Euler, the earth as a whole is neither contracting nor expanding."

F. T. Manhein, in Choice:

"Lawrence's first book is a sleeper; if he continues on track he could join the ranks of elite science writers like Stephen J. Gould in geology and evolution and Jared Diamond in anthropology. . . . De rigueur for ocean scientists; recommended to everyone."

Danny McCarroll, in Area:

"The book is full of details . . . seemingly extraneous but actually making the story one of real lives, and human achievements, rather than the usual list of hallowed names, new gadgets and apparent facts that make up most work on advances in science. David Lawrence clearly combines a great enthusiasm for the history of scientific discovery with a storyteller's art, and I hope that he will produce more gems of this sort."

Patrick Toscano, in Professional Surveyor:

"David Lawrence has written an excellent history of how earth scientists and oceanographers struggled to understand the new data that was being gathered, as they fit or tried to fit it into incorrect theories. Eventually, old paradigms had to be discarded and new ones adopted. Lawrence engagingly describes the many people who contributed to the effort. . . . Lawrence writes well and he appears to love his subject. It is a lively history and one full of heroes."

Amy Ione, in Leonardo Digital Reviews:

"In summary, Lawrence outlines how Alfred Wegener's much maligned theory of continental drift was re-formulated in the latter half of the twentieth century with the triumphant introduction of the revolutionary plate tectonics theory. This story is a fascinating one and no doubt those who have little background in earth science and evolution will find this book useful. . . . I found myself thinking it would be a perfect book for those young high school and college students who are discovering plate tectonics and are drawn to adventure."

Albert Theberge, in Cartographica:

". . . this book is a very readable account of the events, intellectual landmarks, and discoveries leading up to the development of the theory of plate tectonics. Lawrence has the ability to communicate scientific concepts in a straightforward, simple manner that serves to educate both scientist and layperson while putting a very human face on the underlying science. He presents scientists at their altruistic best and at their self-serving worst; as sombre, driven individuals and as light-hearted sometimes whimsical folk who enjoy life as much as their less-cerebral neighbours. In short, he shows that the men and women who were at the centre of the plate tectonics revolution were indeed very human."

Henry H. Bauer, in the Journal of Scientific Exploration:

". . . a well written, even absorbing account of how some interesting people managed to expand humankind's understanding of its physical abode."

Review of The Science of Michael Crichton

Carl Hays, in Booklist:

"The most outstanding contribution, however, is meteorologist David Lawrence’s skewering of State of Fear (2004), Crichton’s loosely fictionalized attempt to debunk global warming. Here, Lawrence forcefully argues that whatever writing chops Crichton possesses, sometimes he gets the science far more wrong than right."

Review of The Science of Dune

In Booklist:

"An indispensable volume for Dune fans everywhere, and another validation of [Frank] Herbert’s fictional universe as one of sf’s towering achievements"

Rutgers University Press, The Lancet, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Geotimes, Mercator's World, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Contributor to The Science of Dune: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science Behind Frank Herbert’s Fictional Universe (BenBella Books, 2008)
Contributor to The Science of Michael Crichton: An Unauthorized Exploration in the Real Science Behind the Fictional Worlds of Michael Crichton (BenBella Books, 2008)
Contributor to Encyclopedia of the Developing World (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2005)
Author, Upheaval from the Abyss: Ocean Floor Mapping and the Earth Science Revolution (Rutgers University Press, 2002)
Author, Huntington's Disease (Chelsea House, 2009)
Last Call for Corals: Life, Death, and Conservation of an Ocean Ecosystem
Time Detectives: Climate Change and Scientists' Quest to Know Earth's Future from Its Past
Down to the Sea in a Ship: A Nautical Adventure in Search of Man's Impact on the Marine Environment
Columbia University, M.S. Journalism 1998
George Mason University, M.S. Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, 1991
Louisiana State University in Shreveport, B.S. Biology, 1983

Professor of geography, biology, meteorology, and oceanography