Robert Whitaker is a science journalist and the author, most recently, of the much-acclaimed Mad in America. He has won the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association of Science Writers' Award for best magazine article. He was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, considered US journalism's top prize. Robert Whitaker's long fascination with South America began in the late 1970s, when he built and lived in a bamboo hut on the Ecuadorian coast. He now lives and writes in Cambridge, Massachusetts.