Bethany Brookshire

Staff Writer, Science News for Students, 2013–2021

Bethany Brookshire was the staff writer at Science News for Students from 2013 to 2021. She has a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in philosophy from The College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is also a host on the podcast Science for the People, and a 2019-2020 MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow.

All Stories by Bethany Brookshire

  1. Animals

    50 years ago, atomic testing created otter refugees

    Nuclear testing on the island of Amchitka caused hundreds of otters to be rehomed 50 years ago. Those hundreds have grown into thousands.

  2. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, a pessimistic view for heart transplants

    Surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human-to-human heart transplant in 1967. In 1968, he predicted that patients would survive five years at best. Fortunately, he was wrong.

  3. Science & Society

    For popularity on Twitter, partisanship pays

    Pundits claim that we’re all living in political echo chambers. A new study shows that, on Twitter at least, they’re right.

  4. Science & Society

    Women and men get research grants at equal rates — if women apply in the first place

    When women get research funding, they’ll stay funded as long as their male counterparts. But getting to the top of that heap is a challenge.

  5. Genetics

    50 years ago, scientists took baby steps toward selecting sex

    In 1968, scientists figured out how to determine the sex of rabbit embryos.

  6. Tech

    50 years ago, a Japanese scientist dreamed up a rocket-propelled train

    50 years ago, a Japanese engineer tried rocket boosters on a train. Today, high-speed trains propelled by superconducting magnets are being tested.

  7. Science & Society

    Fighting sexual harassment in science may mean changing science itself

    Sexual harassment is disturbingly prevalent in academia. But a course correction may involve tearing down the hierarchy that makes science run.

  8. Health & Medicine

    To regulate fecal transplants, FDA has to first answer a serious question: What is poop?

    Fecal transplants are the treatment of the future for some conditions. But right now, they are entirely unregulated. Here’s why putting regulations in place is so complex.

  9. Animals

    50 years ago, scientists warned of a sparrow’s extinction

    Only 17 dusky seaside sparrows remained in 1968. Today, there are none.

  10. Chemistry

    Want to build a dragon? Science is here for you

    Fire-breathing dragons can’t live anywhere outside of a book or TV. But nature provides some guidance as to how they might get their flames. If they existed, anyway.

  11. Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, early organ transplants brought triumph and tragedy

    In 1968, the liver transplant field had its first small successes. Now, more than 30,000 patients in the U.S. receive a donated liver each year.

  12. Science & Society

    Wikipedia has become a science reference source even though scientists don’t cite it

    Wikipedia is everyone’s go-to source. Even scientists. A new study shows how science on Wikipedia may end up forwarding science itself.