Monday July 16th 2018

Recent Work

Quantum games aim to demystify heady science

In a video game called Quantum Moves, the players’ goal is straightforward: Move an atom from one place to another as [Read More]

Searching Blood for Cancer Clues

ONCE A MONTH, 40-year-old Kristen Kilmer drives nearly 400 miles from her home in Spearfish, South Dakota, to the [Read More]

Targeting brain cancer

Seven years after her brain cancer diagnosis, Liz Salmi decided she wanted to know more about the makeup of the tumor [Read More]

About Stephen

I'm a science writer in Nashville, Tennessee, who covers math, physics, astronomy and cancer research. I work from a converted office shed in my backyard. I also teach an undergraduate class in science communication at Vanderbilt University.

My work has appeared in Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist, onEarth and Science News for Students. I've received a AAAS/Kavli science journalism award, and my work has been recognized by awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. My feature article on the longest math proof in history appeared in the 2016 volume of Best American Science and Nature Writing.

My non-science nonfiction has appeared in the New Haven Review, and my fiction has appeared in The Portland Review, Arcadia, Vestal Review, Bartleby Snopes, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Prime Number, and One Story.

Thanks for visiting! Email me at stephen - at - stephenornes - dot - com.


* In 2017, I was honored to receive the Bricker Award for Science Writing in Medicine from Houston Methodist. The award is named after David Bricker, a beloved and skilled science writer who died of cancer. A video of my talk is available here.

* "Where will Lightning Strike?, which I wrote for Science News for Students, won a 2015 Kavli AAAS Science Journalism Award.

* "Interrupting Cancer's Travel Plans," an article I wrote for Cancer Today, won a 2013 ASJA award in the trade category.

* The Science Writers' Handbook, a book to which I am proud to have contributed, was published in April 2014.

For Kids

En route to Mars, astronauts may face big health risks

Frank Borman was probably the first person to barf in space.   Borman was part of NASA’s Apollo 8 mission, which lifted off a launch pad in Florida on December 21, [Read More]

Science News for Kids
A complete list of my stories for Science News for Students appears here.

Math stories

Researchers find history in the diagrams of Euclid’s Elements

The fourth book of Euclid’s Elements, a 2,300-year-old geometry text, includes directions for constructing a 15-sided polygon inside a circle. The first step is familiar [Read More]