Elizabeth Quill

Elizabeth Quill

Editor, Special Projects

Elizabeth Quill is the special projects editor for Science News. She has overseen efforts including the SN 10: Scientists to Watch and the Year in Review, and is the editorial coordinator for the Science News in High Schools program, which puts Science News and related resources into the hands of teachers and students at more than 4,000 high schools across the United States and worldwide. She has edited special collections on topics ranging from consciousness to general relativity, and recently took a deep dive into the stories behind the periodic table of the elements. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York, Elizabeth studied journalism at Ithaca College and received her master’s degree in science writing from MIT. This is her second tour at Science News. She started her career here more than a decade ago and returned in 2015 after serving as the senior editor for science at Smithsonian magazine.

All Stories by Elizabeth Quill

  1. Evidence of ancient roots

    Though early hominids may have made sweet sounds by banging sticks and stones together, the oldest distinguishable instrument dates to 40,000 years ago.  A flute made from vulture bone (shown) and others made from mammoth ivory have been found in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany, and date from 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Holes […]

  2. A mind for music

    Infancy’s Symphony | Photo by Carey Wolinsky Read features from the special edition Articles in A mind for music. | Go Download a PDF of the special edition Exclusive for Science News subscribers.Download Download PDF | Subscribe There are very few activities for which your birthday suit and a three-piece suit are equally appropriate attire. […]

  3. Astronomy

    Can you hear me now?

    The Earth is going silent. Digital television signals delivered by cable and satellite are quickly replacing analog broadcasts and reducing the number and power of radio waves leaking into space. For viewers at home, it means more channels and pictures of unsurpassed clarity. But for scientists seeking signs of advanced civilizations beyond the solar system, […]

  4. Health & Medicine

    Healthy teeth, healthy people

    Talk leaves journalists flossing for details on oral health.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Bullies’ brains empathize, but with a twist

    Brain imaging studies show teens with aggressive conduct disorder display greater brain activity while viewing video of others in pain.

  6. Neuroscience

    It’s written all over your face

  7. Math

    The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

    People like to think they understand their world. They seek explanations for things that go well and excuses for failures. “To swim against the current of human intuition is a difficult task,” Mlodinow notes. THE DRUNKARD’S WALK In this guide to randomness, he explores how people misunderstand the power of praise and punishment, hot and […]

  8. Life

    BOOK REVIEW | Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice-Age Equator

    In 1964, Paul Colinvaux began his life’s work—trying to understand the ice-age climate of the Amazon through mud cores and the pollen found within. Having sharpened his drill in the Arctic, the ecologist looked south to “terra incognita.” When he began his effort, no ice-age deposit or site in the Amazon had been identified. AMAZON […]

  9. Health & Medicine

    BOOK REVIEW | Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life

    When science writer Carl Zimmer looks into a petri dish teeming with E. coli, he sees himself, humanity and all life. In Microcosm, Zimmer traces the lessons biologists have learned from the microbe, which calls our guts its home. He also uses it to discuss some of the most fundamental questions in biology: What is […]