Michael Chorost is a freelance science writer and cultural theorist. His first book, Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human, won the PEN/USA Book Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2006. His second book, World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humans and Machines, will be published in 2010. He would describe himself as a “bioliberal” who is ruefully aware of how difficult it really is to interface technology with the body. Chorost is entirely, refreshingly deaf. He was born with severe hearing losses in both ears due to an epidemic of rubella. He didn’t learn to talk until he was fitted with hearing aids at the age of three and a half. With these aids, he grew up speaking English more or less normally, earning a BA in English from Brown University and a PhD in educational technology from the University of Texas at Austin.
On July 7, 2001, he lost the remaining hearing in his one usable ear and received a cochlear implant shortly afterward. This experience was chronicled in Rebuilt. In 2008, he had the other ear implanted, so he is now doubly bionic. Chorost has written for Wired, The Futurist, The Scientist, Technology Review, and The Washington Post. He wrote a television special on brain implants titled The 22nd Century, which aired on PBS in January 2007.
He normally lives in San Francisco, but he is spending the 2008-2009 academic year as a visiting professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Gallaudet is a university for the deaf, so for the first time in his life, Chorost is learning sign language – slowly. Thanks to his last name, his website can be found instantly with Google.