Tom Siegfried

Tom Siegfried

Contributing Correspondent

Tom Siegfried is a contributing correspondent. He was editor in chief of Science News from 2007 to 2012, and he was the managing editor from 2014 to 2017. He is the author of the blog Context. In addition to Science News, his work has appeared in Science, Nature, Astronomy, New Scientist and Smithsonian. Previously he was the science editor of The Dallas Morning News. He is the author of four books: The Bit and the Pendulum (Wiley, 2000); Strange Matters (National Academy of Sciences’ Joseph Henry Press, 2002);  A Beautiful Math (2006, Joseph Henry Press); and The Number of the Heavens (Harvard University Press, 2019). Tom was born in Lakewood, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Avon. He earned an undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University with majors in journalism, chemistry and history, and has a master of arts with a major in journalism and a minor in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. His awards include the American Geophysical Union's Robert C. Cowen Award for Sustained Achievement in Science Journalism, the Science-in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Westinghouse Award, the American Chemical Society’s James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, and the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award.

All Stories by Tom Siegfried

  1. Physics

    Computers’ inability to find physical laws is a clue to math’s relationship to reality

  2. Physics

    Time’s arrow and reality’s randomness succumb to quantum thermodynamics

  3. Physics

    Bits of Reality

    Ask any physicist to name the top two theories of the 20th century, and you’ll almost always get the same automatic answer: Einstein’s relativity and quantum mechanics. But lately a few 21st century thinkers have hinted that maybe the third-place theory should move up a notch. In the wake of the computer revolution, information theory […]

  4. 90th Anniversary Issue: Introduction

    Science News mines its past for highlights from nine decades of science.

  5. Tech

    Networks of networks are all around you — and you are one

  6. Neuroscience

    Self as Symbol

  7. Math

    Medicine needs a sensible way to measure weight of the evidence

  8. Love affair with statistics gives science a significant problem

    Scientists love statistical significance. It offers a way to test hypotheses. It’s a ticket to publishing, to media coverage, to tenure. It’s also a crock — statistically speaking, anyway. You know the idea. When scientists ­perform an experiment and their data suggest an important result — say, that watching TV causes ­influenza — there’s always the nagging concern that the finding […]

  9. For what you want to know, Bayes offers superior stats

    It turns out that the old adage about statistics and damned lies wasn’t a joke. Sticks and stones may be bonebreakers, and words inflict no (physical) pain, but numbers can kill. In 2004, for instance, a statistical analysis suggested that antidepressant drugs raised the risk of suicide in youngsters and adolescents, leading the U.S. Food […]

  10. Math

    If bird brains grasp statistical mechanics, there’s hope for predicting human behavior

  11. Microbes

    Whether for brains or bacteria, intelligence is all about food

  12. Atomic Anatomy

    Ernest Rutherford grew up in the 19th century. He created the 20th. Ernest Rutherford won a Nobel Prize for research on the nature of radioactivity. Bain collection/Library of Congress MOSTLY EMPTY Rutherford revealed that almost all of an atom’s mass is concentrated in a very small and dense nucleus (orange), shown here roughly 1,000 times […]