Writing » Writing – Payson Stevens


Writing has been an integral part of my creative efforts including published non-fiction, textbooks, articles, and poetry publications.

Communication Research Machines, Inc. (CRM), the company that started the groundbreaking popular magazine, Psychology Today (founded 1967), was located in Del Mar, CA where I lived. Their book division, CRM Books, provided an early opportunity of my communicating science with words and innovative imagery/illustrations/fold-outs as a contributing author/designer to their acclaimed and top selling college texts: Biology Today (1971) and Geology Today (1973).

In the mid-1970s, these skills were honed working as a scientific/medical copywriter (1974-75) at a medical ad agency (Wesson & Warhaftig/W&W in New York City, under Ed Cohen). I left to do freelance writing and documentary filmmaking, working with W&W, to write/produce the medical documentary, Dynamics of the EHC, for the Mayo Clinic with Dr. Alan F. Hofmann. I then started the small company, Creative Consulting (1976-79), and wrote for popular national magazines on science topics as well as environmental technical reports on San Diego coastal ocean issues. Creative Consulting was hired by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) in 1978 to respond to the US Department of Interior Lease Sale No 48 Environmental Impact Report to open up Southern California coastal waters to offshore oil development( Oceans OCS Leasing Process, 1979 ). Managing a small team of oceanographers, city planners, tourism experts, and economists, we successfully prevented oil exploration and its potential damaging impacts: a project I consider one of the more important ones of my career.

Two important trade books were published. Embracing Earth: New Views of Our Changing Planet used the satellite imagery from INI NASA, USGS, and NOAA projects for one of the first trade/coffee-table books on the Earth System seen from space (1992). Meshuggenary: Celebrating the World of Yiddish (2002) honored my Jewish Yiddish roots.