Betsy Mason

Betsy Mason is a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and a 2022 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow reporting on how science impacts how we think about other animals. She is coauthor of All Over the Map.

All Stories by Betsy Mason

  1. A photo of a bluestreak cleaner wrasse.

    Fish can recognize themselves in photos, further evidence they may be self-aware

    Cleaner fish recognize themselves in mirrors and photos, suggesting that far more animals may be self-aware than previously thought.

  2. a close-up photo of a jumping spider

    News stories have caught spiders in a web of misinformation

    Nearly half of news stories about peoples’ interactions with spiders contain errors, according to a new analysis.

  3. close-up of a jumping spider, with hairy legs, a hairy body, and four eyes

    Jumping spiders’ remarkable senses capture a world beyond our perception

    Clever experiments and new technology are taking scientists deep into the lives of jumping spiders, and opening a portal to their experience of the world.

  4. black and white dog looking at dog treat in person's hand

    Would dogs return the favor if you gave them treats? It’s complicated

    An experiment in which dogs did not reciprocate food giving with humans may reveal something about the dogs, or about how science is done.

  5. Marie Tharp looks over a map on a table
    Science & Society

    Marie Tharp’s groundbreaking maps brought the seafloor to the world

    In part because of her gender, Tharp was the right person in the right place at the right time to make the first detailed maps of the ocean’s bottom.

  6. greater prairie chicken

    In the animal kingdom, what does it mean to be promiscuous?

    A review of hundreds of scientific studies finds that the label “promiscuous” is applied to a surprisingly wide range of mating behaviors in animals.

  7. Resident Evil 7 screen capture

    Virtual reality has a motion sickness problem

    Virtual reality games and experiences can make some people sick, and women are more susceptible.

  8. woman wearing virtual reality headset
    Science & Society

    Virtual reality raises real risk of motion sickness

    New research confirms anecdotal reports that virtual reality headsets can cause motion sickness, and may affect women more than men.

  9. Archaeology

    Muons Meet the Maya

    Physicists are exploring the use of muons generated by cosmic rays to explore Mayan archaeological sites and to probe the interiors of volcanoes and shipping containers.