Life is funny. Thirty years ago, when I was a college freshman, I was most passionate about partying, skateboarding and writing for my school newspaper. This is when I fell in love with journalism. I wrote articles about the nuclear freeze movement in Europe, why I was an atheist, and about student government shenanigans. The foosball table in the rec room next to the paper’s office cinched the deal.
Twenty years ago, I was working the midnight shift in the psychiatric wing of a Manhattan hospital. I was one of the flunkies who watched over the patients. My least favorite moments were spent in the locked bubble (within the already locked ward) behind the nurse’s station. It had a few tattered foam couches in the common area and three adjoining rooms. Patients that had become a danger to themselves or other patients were sent to the bubble. So were patients in the extreme throes of their particular illness. My long stretches working in the bubble during the graveyard shift convinced me that psychology was not my true calling and that I should return to journalism.
Ten years ago, I was a senior editor at Audubon magazine, assigning and writing stories about climate change, the Florida Everglades, endangered species, the future of conservation. This period of my life (I was at Audubon from 1999 to 2008) was immensely gratifying. Periodically, when I wanted to get real sciency on environmental issues, I wrote features for Science magazine and other publications. (I still contribute occasionally to Science.) Since the late 1990s, I’ve been freelancing on other topics of interest, such as urban planning and archaeology.
In early 2009, I set up this blog while I was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism. Collide-a-Scape has been a terrific platform to explore what fascinates me most these days: A science landscape in the public sphere that is influenced by culture and shaped by media.
I’m looking forward to continuing that journey here at Discover. Please join me. This blog is most vibrant when readers challenge me and each other. I welcome spirited (but, please, civil), constructive conversation.
Lastly, a big thanks to the Discover team for inviting me to join their network of talented bloggers and writers.