MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing
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Julia Duke

GPSW 2014

Julia Duke

Julia’s first book told the story of an “ugly” dinosaur who, à la “The Ugly Duckling,” had simply been hanging around with a dissimilar species. This story foreshadowed some of Julia’s life passions, including writing, studying evolutionary biology and history, and spending time with animals of the non-human variety. Julia grew up an aspiring veterinarian in St. Louis and entered Harvard College an aspiring writer. She exited college with a History of Science degree, having satisfactorily indulged her simultaneous loves for science and writing – particularly in an honors thesis her senior year, in which she explored anthropomorphism and scientific story-telling in the age of Darwin. Julia then worked happily alongside scientists and animals in the Conservation & Science department of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo for two years.

She can often be found volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers, petting strangers’ dogs, and searching for bits of wilderness in the city.

Thesis: The Beast Within: Measuring the Minds of Zoo Animals