I started off as an academic scientist, completing a PhD in physics and astronomy at Rutgers University. After that, I spent six years teaching at large public universities and small liberal arts colleges. One of those jobs involved directing a small on-campus planetarium, which gave me my first real taste of talking about science to the general public. When that college ran into financial problems (ultimately closing a few years later) and I was abruptly forced to take a temporary teaching position elsewhere, I knew I needed to get out of academia.
In addition to my public-facing planetarium work, I was always interested in writing; when my last job assigned me to teach a writing-centric honors class on creationism and other pseudoscience, I decided if my students had to write, I should too. I started my blog “Galileo’s Pendulum” in the fall of 2010, and the rest (as the cliché goes) is history.
My posts included both science news and explanatory articles, so I established a myself as a trustworthy voice, as well as building up a significant portfolio. I soon found regular work with Ars Technica, followed by other media outlets, both traditional and online: Popular Science, Mosaic, Undark, Smithsonian Air & Space, and many more. My portfolio includes over 300 published feature articles, analyses, news pieces, and nonfiction science comics (in collaboration with artist Maki Naro) for more than 30 separate publications.