Wednesday December 7th 2016

About me

SKO2014Hello there!I am an independent science writer who works from an office shed in my backyard in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve written about the mathematics of pizza slicing for New Scientist, tumor banking for CR (now Cancer Today), and extrasolar planets for Discover. I have covered stories from astronomy, physics, cancer research and mathematics; I’m also a regular contributor to Science News for Students, an educational website, and a researcher for Cancer Today magazine. I teach an undergraduate class on science communication at Vanderbilt University, and I’ve given talks on the subject at Murray State University, Southern Methodist University, the Southern Festival of Books, and elsewhere.

For a list of where my work has been published, click on publications above. In 2016, I received a Kavli/AAAS Award for a story about lightning I wrote for science News for Students. 2013, I received an award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for “Interrupting cancer’s travel plans,” an article about the science of metastases that appeared in Cancer Today, and in 2010, Association of Health Care Journalists recognized an article I wrote for CR titled “What happens to a donated tumor?

I graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in physics and English, studied applied math in graduate school at the University of Missouri, and I’m a graduate of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing. My first book, a young adult biography of Sophie Germain, was published in 2008. Read an excerpt here. I contributed two chapters to the Science Writers’ Handbook (2013).

My non-science nonfiction has been published in the New Haven Review and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and my fiction has appeared in One Story, Vestal ReviewArcadiaBartleby Snopes, and Prime Number Magazine, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. My wife, Kate, is a nurse-midwife, and my children sometimes conspire to create their own language.

 

Latest Topics

The Riddle of Bacteria and Cancer

The Riddle of Bacteria and Cancer

The human body teems with bacteria. These micro-organisms live on the skin, in mucus membranes, on the eyes and in the [Read More]

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

For more than 200 years, physicists have wanted to understand why electricity flows through some materials and not [Read More]

Every breath we take

Every breath we take

Back in Christmas 2013, the CineStar cinema in Mainz, Germany, became an impromptu, oversized laboratory. Over the [Read More]

Metagenomics for foodies

Metagenomics for foodies

Kefir is a viscous, sour-tasting, slightly alcoholic, milk-based beverage that’s been consumed for centuries. [Read More]

A woman’s place is in science

A woman’s place is in science

Last October in a noisy ballroom in Nashville, Tenn., six girls sat at a round table to design a spacecraft that could [Read More]

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