Who I Am
Welcome! I’m a science writer and journalist with over 10 years of experience covering astronomy, physics, climate change, mathematics, and the way science and society affect each other. I’ve also written many science comics in collaboration with comics artist Maki Naro … who also painted my portrait, as seen above!
To be more specific, I most love writing about black holes, gravitational waves, and the strange connections between apparently very different areas of science, such as experiments linking studies of climate change to next-generation astronomical observatories to understand twin pulsar systems. I also write extensively about issues of social justice and equality in science and society.
How To Reach Me
The social media landscape as of December 2022 is very chaotic, so keep an eye on this section as things might change abruptly.
- Email: matthew francis at galileos pendulum dot org
- Twitter: @DrMRFrancis (for now at least!)
- Mastodon: @DrMRFrancis@sciencemastodon.com
- Post: https://post.news/drmrfrancis
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewrfrancis/ (I’m most likely to accept a connection if we know each other, so please don’t take it personally if I ignore you)
I am open to (paid) writing commissions, connecting with colleagues, and full- or part-time work if the job is right.
Where To Find My Writing
My complete writing portfolio is at https://bowlerhatscience.org/writing-portfolio/ . Since that includes more than 300 articles for more than 30 publications, the list is a bit daunting. Here are some good starting points:
- Penguin Spotting, and Other Cool Satellite Tricks : Air & Space Magazine (April 2018 print edition)
- How Albert Einstein Used His Fame to Denounce American Racism : Smithsonian Magazine (March 3, 2017)
- The GRACE to tackle climate change : SPIE Photonics Focus (May-June print issue, also available online)
- Semi-technical, but still understandable by non-scientists: Biological Near-symmetries Explain the Similarity and Diversity of Life : SIAM News (April 1, 2022)
- Opinion/Analysis: Police Who Tear Gas Abortion-Rights Protesters Could Induce Abortion : Scientific American (July 20, 2022)
- Book Chapter: The Eccentric Design and Cutting-Edge Science of Fermilab (October 2, 2019): my essay from Midwest Architecture Journeys
Where To Find My Comics
My comics portfolio is https://bowlerhatscience.org/writing-portfolio/comics-portfolio/ , and the following comics for The Nib are a place to start:
- Our Vanishing Sky (comic with Maki Naro, published in the print issue “Nature”)
- When “Peanuts” Went All-In on Vaccinations (comic with Maki Naro, September 9, 2019)
- When Good Scientists Go Bad (comic with Maki Naro, May 15, 2019)
- Who Owns an Asteroid? (comic with Maki Naro, February 11, 2019)
A Lengthier Biography
For more than ten years now, I’ve worked as a science writer and journalist contributing over 300 articles to dozens of popular science magazines, professional society publications, and nonfiction comics sites. My writing has spanned topics in physics, astronomy, mathematics, climate change, the culture of science, and many other wide-ranging subjects, demonstrating my capacity to write for both non-technical and specialist audiences. Starting from extensive contributions to Ars Technica, my popular-science writings have appeared in Smithsonian Air & Space, Slate, Inverse, Popular Science, and many more. My portfolio includes writing and editing for professional publications including SIAM News, Physics World, APS Physics, and the website for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. With science comics artist Maki Naro, I’ve contributed comics to the award-winning magazine The Nib and Vox. I also wrote a chapter on the architecture of Fermilab for the book Midwest Architecture Journeys.
Prior to my science writing career, I taught college-level physics and astronomy, after completing a PhD at Rutgers University. Along the way, I’ve picked up skills in scientific programming, computer administration, data processing, multimedia work, and a huge amount of public outreach experience as director of a planetarium in Tennessee. My motivation is learning new things about our wonderful universe and sharing that knowledge with others, along with the drive to make science — and the broader society in which science operates — more equitable.
I am open to work in the general fields of science writing, journalism, and outreach (including museum or planetarium work) broadly in astronomy, physics, or math, along with editing or consultancy in these areas. I don’t rule out other suitable jobs, depending on how good a match they are for my interests and experience.