Scott Carney

Photo credit: Jake Holschuh

Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney ( has worked in some of the most dangerous and unlikely corners of the world. His work blends narrative non-fiction with ethnography. Currently, he is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and a 2016-17 Scripps Fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism in Boulder, Colorado. His books include the New York Times best seller "What Doesn't Kill Us" as well as "The Red Market" and "The Enlightenment Trap”.

Carney was a contributing editor at Wired for five years and his writing also appears in Mother Jones, Men's Journal, Playboy, Foreign Policy, Discover, Outside and Fast Company. His work has been the subject of a variety of radio and television programs, including on NPR and National Geographic TV. In 2010, he won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for his story "Meet the Parents”, which tracked an international kidnapping-to-adoption ring. Carney has spent extensive time in South Asia and speaks Hindi.

3 words to describe Nature?

Stunning. Brutal. Fair.

3 things Nature taught you?

That there is no division between ourselves and nature.

That the outside world is also the inside world

How we think about the environment is also how we think about ourselves.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Nubble Westport, MA

Hampi, India

Outside Iquitos, Peru

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm, like the horizon has no limits.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like there will be something unexpected just around the next bend

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

In awe of the power of the earth.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Like I'm at the beginning or end.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Usually a little surprised. I count the seconds between the flash and the clap to try to figure out how far away it is. The other day I got stuck in a thunderstorm and the bolts crashed fifteen feet from me. It was pretty terrifying. My instinct was to lie flat on the ground.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

IT depends where I am.  If I'm inside a house watching a storm pass it's a strangely comforting feeling. If I'm outside it can be brutal.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

I am nature. And so are you.  10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I remember climbing up the Nubble, a small but high rock that guards the Harbor in Westport, MA, while my mother yelled at me to get down. She was scared I would fall, but I just had to make it to the top.