Henry Fountain

Recognition Year: 

Henry Fountain, science writer for the New York Times, covers engineering, materials, and other subjects at the intersection of science and everyday life.

In 1995, Fountain joined the Times as an editor on the national desk. He has also worked as an editor for the weekly technology section Circuits, the Week in Review and the special sections department, which covers environmental business, philanthropy, and other subjects.

He became a full-time reporter in 2009, after writing the Observatory column in Science Times and other articles on a part-time basis for the previous decade. Among other subjects, he has written about concrete, an elephant that thinks it’s a truck, jealous dogs, nuclear tourism, a building based on bubbles, poison ivy and climate change, arthritic cane toads and worm grunting.

Prior to joining the Times, Fountain was an editor at The International Herald Tribune (Paris) from 1990 to 1995 and at New York Newsday from 1988 to 1990.  He also worked at The Bridgeport Post (Connecticut) as a feature writer and editor from 1985 to 1988 and at a chain of weekly papers in Fairfield County, Conn., from 1982 to 1985.

From 1978 until 1981, Fountain was an organizer with a community-owned cooperative supermarket in New Haven, Conn., where he made his start in journalism by producing a membership newsletter.  His first job after college was as a teacher.

Fountain graduated from Yale University in 1976, with a major in architecture.  He is married to Savannah Walker, an editor for the Times real estate section.  They have one son and live in Pelham, N.Y.

Henry Fountain's participation in the 2013 Honors Institute Symposium is courtesy of the New York Times inCOLLEGE program.