Biography

I grew up in South Florida catching lizards and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. At the University of Florida, I obtained a B.S. in Zoology and a B.A. in Philosophy. During and after college, I worked in biology labs studying horseshoe crab mating behavior, spotted owl population dynamics, deep sea microbiology and avian conservation genetics.

In 2009 I began a career in science journalism. Since then, I've reported on a spectrum of scientific topics, including quantum physics, evolutionary biology, genetics, medicine, climate change, science policy, neuroscience and psychology.

 

I've been published in various outlets, such as Scientific American, FactCheck.org, CNN, The Huffington Post, NBC, MSN.com, USA Today, Quanta, UnDark, Science Friday, The ScientistBioScience, EARTH, The American Scholar and EuroScientist. 

In 2017, I finished a masters in the History and Philosophy of Science from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. My thesis used the history of the gene concept in biology to understand the contemporary use of the connectome (a map of the brain's neural connections) as a concept in neuroscience. I argued that when scientists organize around these concepts, they unify their disciplines. As a grad student, I also wrote about the relationship between science and the public, the difference between science education and science propaganda and the role of intuition in science, among other topics.  

Cultivating my skills as a philosopher has undoubtedly fed my ability to contextualize the nuanced nature of scientific fact for the public as a journalist. From January 2016 to June 2018, I worked full-time as the science writer for FactCheck.org, where I corrected false and misleading claims about science made by U.S. politicians. While there, I covered the 2016 presidential election and the early years of the Trump administration.

I'm now a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania with a particular interest in analyzing why people believe things that are obviously false, how that kind of belief hinders society, who's responsible for the damage these beliefs do and how we might avoid such beliefs. Not surprisingly, I have a particular interest in beliefs related to Covid, climate change and cults.

 

I live in West Philadelphia my partner Joe and our two reluctantly related cats Olafur and Delia. When I'm not writing or thinking, I like doing things with my hands. I bake bread, pastries, cakes and pies, and I grow tomatoes, arugula and radishes.