Science Writing and Editing



Since 2000 I have worked as a science and medical writer and editor, primarily for the web. In the past I have held senior staff editorial positions with the New York Academy of Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Columbia University Department of Systems Biology, and in April 2017 joined the HLRS – High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. These experiences have given me opportunities to cover a wide range of scientific, technical, and medical fields, including systems and computational biology, molecular biology and genomics, high performance computing, cancer biology and cancer treatment, neuroscience, infectious diseases and pubic health, environmental sciences and policy, science and culture, and other disciplines. I have written and edited for both professional scientific and lay audiences in a variety of formats, including scientific meeting reports, feature articles on new research, patient educational materials, research proposals, translations, and electronic newsletters. I have also conducted and produced video interviews for the web. Some examples of my work include:

Authored Articles

High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)

> HLRS Researchers Support Development of MULTI Elevator System
Hazel Hen’s Millionth Compute Job
> HLRS Focuses on Sustainability in Supercomputing
> Hazel Hen Helps Explain Ultrafast Phase Transition

Columbia University Department of Systems Biology

> A Grand Challenge for Genome Engineering: GP-Write
> Database of Protein-Protein Interactions Opens New Possibilities for Systems Biology
> Automated, Single Cell RNA-Seq Enables Research on Tumor Ecology
> A Jack of All Trades: An Interview with Kam Leong
Method for Determining Protein Function Opens Opportunities for Precision Cancer Medicine
> Study of Glioblastoma Tumor Evolution Reveals Strategies Against Advanced Disease
> Graduate Students Invent Technique for Reprogramming Translation
> Columbia Expands Its Microbiome Research
> How Genomic Data Are Changing Population Genetics: An Interview with Molly Przeworski
> Department of Systems Biology Opens New Biotechnology Research Hub
> Columbia Launches Undergraduate Synthetic Biology Team
> New Graduate Course Focuses on Foundations of Deep Sequencing
> Promising New Targets for Treating HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
> New Algorithm Accurately Predicts Drug Mechanism of Action
> Method for Analysing Single-Cell Data Identifies AML Stem Cells
Mechanism of Kidney Transplant Tolerance Discovered
> Columbia Investigators Awarded New NCI Physical Sciences in Oncology Center
> Connections Found between Mendelian Diseases and Cancer
> The Exposome: Connecting Environmental Factors to Human Disease
> Columbia Researchers Will Use Master Regulators to Reclassify Cancer Subtypes
> Distinguishing Patterns of Tumor Evolution in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
> Machine Learning Method Expands the Landscape of Breast Cancer Driver Genes
> Algorithm Identifies Genetic Driver of Mesenchymal Glioblastoma
> Improving Single-Cell RNA-Seq at the Columbia Genome Center
> New Directions in Genome Engineering: An Interview with Harris Wang
> Researchers Create Comprehensive Map of Human B Cell Development
> Highlights & Celebrations from the 6th Annual RECOMB/ISCB Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics, with DREAM Challenges
> Systems Biology Throws You Out of the Box: An Interview with Saeed Tavazoie
Imaging Synapses Using Fluorescent Small Molecule Probes
A Topological Approach to Modeling Evolution
Uniting Structural and Systems Biology: An Interview with Barry Honig

New York Academy of Sciences

A Dangerous Divide: The Two Cultures in the Twenty-First Century
Water and Health: Global Issues and Our Shared Responsibilities
Green Building Solutions: What’s Working?
Origins of Time’s Arrow

Editorial Work

Cancer overviews at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

 (Full disclosure: These documents are always evolving to reflect new advances in research and treatment and so may have changed since I published them, though I managed major revisions on which the current versions are now based.)

Prostate Cancer (with Helen Garey and Celia Gittelson)
Colorectal Cancer (with James Stallard)
Lung Cancer
Spine Tumors (with Helen Garey)
Benign Blood Disorders (with Helen Garey)

New York Academy of Sciences eBriefings:

A small selection of the nearly 300 eBriefings that were published during my time as editor of the NYAS website.

From Mirror Neurons to the Mona Lisa: Visual Art and the Brain (author: Catherine Zandonella)
Creating Climate-Resilient Cities: Progress in NYC and Beyond (author: Christine Van Lenten)
Songs of Experience: Music and the Brain (author: Kathleen McGowan)
Translational Cancer Research: Bench, Bedside, and Community (author: Megan Stephan)

Interviews at

Interviews were conducted by John Brockman. My role was to convert transcripts and submitted manuscripts into something that read cohesively.

Software Is a Cultural Solvent, a Talk with Jordan Pollack
The Mountain and the Clock, by Stewart Brand
The Landscape: a Talk with Leonard Susskind
New Pills for the Mind: a Talk with Samuel Barondes
A Full-Force Storm with Gale Winds Blowing: A Talk with Robert Trivers
You Can’t Be a Sweet Cucumber in a Vinegar Barrel: a Talk with Philip Zimbardo

German-English Translation

During 2000-2004 I translated German-language press articles for the website (Click on each year and scroll down the page to find the articles.)

> How the Slogan “The Third Culture” Has Become a Runaway Success on the Arts & Letters Pages
> Evangelist of Pop Science: … Brockman Is Responsible for the Coinage of the “Third Culture.”
> The Victory of the Third Culture
> Tear Down All the Statues!

> Those Who Don’t Ask Remain Dumb
> Der Geist zu Geld Macht
> Who Knows? A Meeting of the Third Culture
> Kulturzeit: John Brockman’s Popular Science

> Which Universe Would You Like?
> Eloquent Intellectuals
> Vordenker der “Dritten Kultur”. Fragen für das Jahr 2002: “Wer Nicht Fragt, Bleibt Dumm”

> The Philosopher as Superstar
> The Engine of Prosperity: Academics Demand a New Science Policy from Bush

> Only the Salon Knows the Answer. But Who Asks the Questions? Even Scientists of the Third Culture Look for Natural Laws

Video Interviews at the New York Academy of Sciences

> The Dendritic Cell: An Interview with Ralph Steinman
> Letting the Data Speak: An Interview with Tony Jebara
> The Challenge of Climate Change: An Interview with Michael Oppenheimer
> From the Genetic Code to Telomerase: An Interview with Thomas Cech
> Chromosome Ends and Rogue Cells: An Interview with Elizabeth Blackburn