Asked this past January what he thinks about most, Stephen Hawking answered, “Women. They are a complete mystery.” Well, we're here to enlighten the good professor in this issue of The Story Collider magazine, taking three angles on women and science: women’s health, the experience of women working in science, and women and the scientists who love them.
Tom Haines went from a childhood spent in an orphanage during the 1930s and '40s to the head of the biochemistry department at City College, where he'd leave a lasting mark. All it took was a fly, a piano, and a little protozoan algae.Read More
Story Collider Founder and Producer Brian Wecht explains how he ended up becoming a physicist instead of a composer. Here's a hint: It all started with a girl.Read More
Story Collider Founder and Producer Ben Lillie reveals the secret ritual every theoretical high-energy physicist must go through, a ritual that brought him to a 7-Eleven parking lot on a chilly March night five years ago.Read More
The ratio of scientists to cattle in Runge, Texas, is one to thousands, Shelley DuBois writes. That one scientist is her father. In this remarkable tribute, Shelley tells the story of how her father went from wrangling cattle in the South Texas desert to researching cancer and traveling the world.Read More
As a black woman who grew up in urban L.A., LaTisha Hammond struggles to accept the fact that her background is different from that of her fellow marine biology students—and her inspiration for her work doesn't feel as worthy as their Jacques Cousteau dreams.Read More
Story Collider's Ben Lillie talks with well-known science writer Carl Zimmer about the story he told on our stage in September, the role of storytelling in science, and how to talk about parasites on a date.Read More
Stuart Cantrill, the chief editor of Nature Chemistry, remembers how he fell in love with science—through his relationship with his father, who suffered from the debilitating genetic disorder hemophilia.Read More
This month, as part of The Story Collider's two-year anniversary, we're featuring #IAmScience—stories of people's twisted and unexpected paths to lives in science. Story Collider magazine editor Erin Barker, who definitely did not expect to be working on science stories, shares her #IAmScience story.Read More
Reporter Steven Berkowitz recently talked with Mike Brown, the man who killed Pluto (the planet, not the dog). His new book, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, is about, well . . . it's in the title. There's also a lot of storytelling in the book, so Steven talked to him about the role of story in science and science writing. Click the headline above to listen to the interview and read an excerpt from the book.Read More
On stage at the Story Collider last October, Matt Mercier told an extraordinary story of a high-school physics love triangle (really!), which became one of our most popular podcasts. What he didn't say in that story (because it wasn't relevant) was that he worked for a while as the docent of the Edgar Allan Poe house in the Bronx. We couldn't let that rest, though, so I called him up to talk about his work there, and discovered an unexpected connection to science . . . in the form of an aquarium and Poe's version of the Big Bang.Read More
When David Dickerson returns to grad school at the age of thirty-one, he has high hopes for his love life because "science is on his side." His pursuit of romance leads him to a dark ocean at 3 a.m. for a moment he'll never forget. Presented in stunning illustrated form by artist Joe Wierenga.Read More
Marie-Claire Shanahan has always wanted to be a science teacher, and her science outreach program has been very successful. But when she and her colleagues journey to Kashechewan, an isolated First Nation community in northern Canada, she learns an important lesson that will change her as an educator forever.Read More
Matt Strassler travels to Titusville, Florida—aka Space City, USA—in hopes of finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of seeing a real, live shuttle launch. But will the brief experience live up to his expectations? And more importantly, will it actually happen?Read More
Sometimes you can look at a child and say, "Man, he was meant to be a basketball star." That's what people used to say about me too, except instead of basketball star, they said lawyer.
I was born in a matching sweater set and shiny Mary Jane shoes on February 26, 1988. Rumor has it I climbed down a stack of reference books to accept the birth certificate. I have spent more recess hours in a library—more hours in a library in general—than probably most members of Congress. I have, on occasion, very politely argued my way out of paying for school milk (where else do state tax dollars go?). I started making study flash cards long before my teachers recommended it. When I became the only member of my rather large family to require a nice, thick pair of glasses, everyone just said, "Of course."Read More
I arrived in Jersey City with my mother and brother on a dark night in January 1986. Mom had fallen in love and had dragged us along to her new life with her new husband. We were transplants from Southern California, where our hometown had experienced a cold snap just a few months before. Temperatures had plummeted to fifty degrees. But this was worse. Even in my warmest coat, I shivered. My bare ears stung.
A few days later, my brother and I enrolled in our new school, PS 23. In California, our schools were named after mountains and fruit trees, but in Jersey City the education system had opted for utilitarian numbers. It made me feel like a number myself.Read More
Rapunzel sucks. Even in her most tragic, desperate moments did she really ever truly understand the value of good hair? I don't think so. Because of her, and Barbie and Marilyn Monroe, I've always assumed that the saying "Blondes have more fun" is true because being a brunette was absolute torture, turning gray early wasn't as nearly as positive an experience as Andy Warhol said it would be (he dyed his hair on purpose at twenty-four so no one would ever know how old he was—or so he said), and that time when I went bald, well, it was an epic bad hair day. Umm, because I'm a girl.Read More