Science Needs Cool Kids

I was not cool in high school. I think it would be a stretch to say I was a nerd, but I wasn’t cool and I certainly wasn’t getting laid. No, like so many scientists and science writers in the world, I mostly kept my head down and waited for college. You see, it’s in […]

The Legacy of Lonesome Larry

This story has a happy ending. I promise. Every year before the turn of the last century, some 150,000 sockeye salmon made an epic journey: They traveled from the Pacific Ocean up the Columbia River, hung a right into the Snake, a left into the Salmon, and finally, after swimming upstream for 900 miles, arrived in the clear, icy waters […]

Report from the Solutions Summit

Back in early 2013, an email discussion among friends turned into a realization. We were having the same tired discussions about gender bias, over and over. The details might vary slightly, but it was the same story, again and again, and nothing was changing. It was time to go public and start looking for solutions. […]

TGIPF: The Weird World of Banana Slug Sex: Redux

Ed. note: this was the first in a long and distinguished line of posts about, ahem, well, you’ll see.  It was published June 22, 2012. Some things are better the second time. Today I have the honor of kicking off a new series on LWON, a series all about  . . . (wait for it) . […]

TGIPF: Look! International Symbol!

“Look!” our guide said, and he pointed to a frieze at the top of a nearby building. We looked. The figures were inscrutable at first, but then the guide explained: The building had been a shop belonging to a wine merchant. We ahhh’d, not so much at the fact that the shop had belonged to a […]

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl. The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.) […]

As Ends in Themselves

About a month ago, the science writing community found out that one of its leaders was sexually harassing his younger female colleagues.  The young women, especially those looking for networks and jobs, took to the internet and named him in front of his own community.  The internet got its shorts in an uproar which eventually focused on […]

Kitty Cat News Flash

I have been to see the National Zoo’s Sumatran tiger cubs, and I have important news: They are adorable. The twin cubs, a boy and a girl, were on display for the first time yesterday at the zoo here in Washington, D.C. A little after 10 a.m., keepers opened the metal door at the bottom […]