Joshua Foer (born September 23, 1982) is a freelance journalist living in New Haven, Connecticut, with a primary focus on hard sciences. He was the 2006 U.S.A. Memory Champion, which was described in his 2011 book, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. He spoke at the TED conference in February 2012.
Foer sold his first book, Moonwalking with Einstein, to Penguin for publication in March 2011. He received a 2.2 million advance for the book. Film rights were optioned by Columbia Pictures shortly after publication.
In 2006, Foer won the U.S.A. Memory Championship, and set a new USA record in the “speed cards” event by memorizing a deck of 52 cards in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Moonwalking with Einstein describes Foer’s journey as a participatory journalist to becoming a national champion mnemonist, under the tutelage of British Grand Master of Memory, Ed Cooke.
Foer’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Nation. In 2007, the quarterly art & culture journal Cabinet began publishing Foer’s column “A Minor History Of”. The column “examines an overlooked cultural phenomenon using a timeline”.
Foer has organized several websites and organizations based on his interests. He created the Athanasius Kircher Society, which had only one session, featuring Kim Peek and Joseph Kittinger. He is the co-founder, along with Dylan Thuras, of the Atlas Obscura, an online compendium of “The World’s Wonders and Curiosities”. He is also a co-organizer of Sukkah City. Josh is also a co-founder of Sefaria, a non-profit organization dedicated to building digital experiences and infrastructure for Jewish texts.