Malcolm Gay is an arts reporter for The Boston Globe, where he covers visual and performing arts. He previously worked as a contributing writer at The New York Times. His articles and essays have also appeared in Wired, The Atlantic, and TIME, among other publications.

Named an Alicia Patterson Fellow in 2013, he has received numerous national journalism awards, including top honors from the James Beard Foundation, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and the National Association of Black Journalists.  

Gay studied Philosophy and Art at The Colorado College, later earning an MJ from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied narrative non-fiction. The Brain Electric, which details the race among top neuroscientists to merge the mind with machines, is his first book.


A masterpiece of reporting, and science writing at its best.
— Fergus M. Bordewich, author of America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union

Leading neuroscience researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of the mind. On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, they are developing miraculous technologies that will enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs and will give all of us the power to manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone. These fiercely competitive scientists are vying for government and venture capital funding, prestige, and wealth.

Part life-altering cure, part science fiction, part Defense Department dream, these cutting edge brain-computer interfaces promise to improve lives-but they also hold the potential to augment soldiers' combat capabilities. In The Brain Electric, Malcolm Gay follows the dramatic emergence of these technologies, taking us behind the scenes in operating rooms, startups, and research labs, where the future is unfolding. With access to many of the field's top scientists, Gay illuminates this extraordinary race-where science, medicine, profit, and war converge-for the first time. But this isn't just a story about technology. At the heart of the scientists' research is a group of brave patient-volunteers, whose lives are given new meaning through these experiments. The Brain Electric asks us to rethink our relationship to technology, our bodies, even consciousness itself, challenging our assumptions about what it means to be human.

Makes the excitement of merging neuroscience and engineering accessible to everyone.
— A. Aldo Faisal, Science Magazine



  • You can reach Malcolm by email at, or on Twitter @malcolmgay.
  • For any book-related inquiries about publishing rights, please contact David Halpern or Kathy Robbins at The Robbins Office, 405 Park Avenue, New York, NY, 10022, or by telephone at 212.223.0720.

  • For inquiries about appearances and interviews, please contact Lottchen Shivers at