Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent since 1998, has a dark secret in his past: He used to work for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an analyst. Back in the 1970s, he recalls, "they were 'deregulating' natural gas, so they had to triple the size of the agency." He soon turned to science journalism because he wanted to report on the ways people's lives were improved by the innovation that democracy and capitalism foster. In this issue, Bailey reports from the front lines of the battle over nanotechnology ("The Smaller the Better," page 44). Bailey is the author of ECOSCAM: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse (St. Martin, 1993) and the editor of Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths (Prima Forum, 2002).
The son of a Little League coach, Associate Editor Matt Welch was inspired to become a journalist by the snarky elegance of Bill James' Baseball Abstract, which he first read while waiting in line for World Series tickets. James is the most visible proponent of a new statistics-driven management theory called sabermetrics. So it's fitting that Welch takes on sabermetrics' critics in his review of Michael Lewis' Moneyball ("Balls," page 71), a chronicle of the method's embrace by the Oakland A's. Welch writes a fortnightly column for Canada's National Post and maintains a popular weblog at mattwelch.com.
Although he doesn't have a byline in our 35th anniversary issue, no one has contributed more to the longevity and success of Reason over the years than Robert W. Poole Jr. In the early '70s, Poole and his partners, Tibor Machan and Manuel Klausner, bought the magazine when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Due to Poole's tireless efforts, Reason grew from a garage operation in Santa Barbara to a national magazine based in Los Angeles. He's proud, he says, that Reason worked to avoid "in-group navel gazing," instead becoming a "champion of individualism and markets in the mainstream national debate." He currently serves as director of transportation studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute.