Matthew R. Francis, Science Writer

Portrait by Maki Naro

Welcome! I’m a physicist, science writer, and frequent wearer of jaunty hats. Since 2011, I have contributed over 300 published feature articles, analyses, news pieces, and nonfiction science comics (in collaboration with artist Maki Naro) to more than 30 separate publications. Those publications include Mosaic, Ars Technica, Undark, The Daily Beast, Slate, Symmetry, and many more. My work has also appeared in print in Popular Science, Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine, SIAM News, and Physics World, as well as a chapter in the book Midwest Architecture Journeys (Belt Publishing, 2019). My writing portfolio lists all these contributions.

In my career as a writer and journalist, I have covered a wide range of topics in astronomy, physics, mathematics, the culture of science, climate change, and a smattering of other fields. My deepest love is for black holes and other extreme gravitational phenomena, but you’ll see me write about any number of things, ranging from neutrinos to wombats to scientists behaving badly.

I’m also available for interviews, podcasts, and other activities.


Preliminary cover for “Who Owns an Asteroid?” by Maki Naro and me.

With artist Maki Naro, I’ve written a series of nonfiction science comics for The Nib. Now, we’re turning those comics — along with material never before published! — into a book entitled Who Owns an Asteroid? Comics on Science and Society. We’re crowdfunding the project through Unbound, a UK-based publisher. The Who Owns an Asteroid? page has all the information, including preview pictures and a number of rewards you get for various levels of pledging.

I also contributed a chapter to the anthology Midwest Architecture Journeys (Belt Publishing, 2019), edited by Zach Mortice. My chapter covers the quirky architecture of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, more commonly known as Fermilab.

Just a few things I’ve written…