Joel Achenbach

ReporterWashington, D.C.

Latest Articles

Most agree the BICEP2 South Pole experiment was heroic science. But did they just see a bunch of dust?

  • Jul 23, 2014

Some sunshine in the cubicle beneath the fluorescent lights.

  • Jul 22, 2014

The MH17 tragedy is felt around the world and high in the air

  • Jul 18, 2014

Dutch citizen Joep Lange was en route to Australia for an AIDS conference, his office said.

  • Jul 17, 2014

Several other delegates heading for a conference in Australia were believed to be aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet.

  • Jul 17, 2014

Carrier says it saw ‘major short-term reaction in consumer behavior’ after Flight MH370’s disappearance.

  • Jul 17, 2014

Here’s an update on the still missing Flight MH370.

  • Jul 17, 2014

Fear stalks a Whole Foods on Miami Beach.

  • Jul 16, 2014

An explanation for why our friends like the same scents we do.

  • Jul 14, 2014

Forty-five years after Apollo 11’s epic journey, the former astronaut says the Red Planet is the future.

  • Jul 14, 2014

This goes beyond superficial appearance: Your buddies share your sense of smell.

  • Jul 14, 2014

Sagan on the God question: “Why are you in such a hurry to make up your mind?“

  • Jul 10, 2014

Buzz Moonman says: To Mars and Beyond!

  • Jul 8, 2014

I got a good feeling about this team

  • Jul 7, 2014

Science is done on the edge of the knowable, where results can be ambiguous.

  • Jul 3, 2014

Defending the caveman in Plato’s Cave

  • Jul 1, 2014

Forget the opposable thumb; it’s all about the thumbs-up.

  • Jun 27, 2014

USA-Germany: Shake hands and say “good match” BEFORE the contest

  • Jun 26, 2014

The world is going up in flames. What can you do?

  • Jun 25, 2014

A writer’s checklist

  • Jun 20, 2014
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About Joel

Joel Achenbach writes on science and politics for the Post's national desk. He has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990, started the newsroom’s first online column, "Rough Draft," in 1999, and started’s first blog, Achenblog, in 2005. 

He has been a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1998, writing on such topics as dinosaurs, particle physics, earthquakes, extraterrestrial life, megafauna extinction and the electrical grid. A 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he has taught journalism at Princeton and Georgetown University.

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AchenblogAchenblog collects Joel's musings on politics, science and culture.

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Special series

Destination Unknown
An occasional series on the future of NASA and space exploration.

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Joel's books