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. supernova 1987A
    Science & Society

    These are science’s Top 10 erroneous results

    A weird form of life, a weird form of water and faster-than-light neutrinos are among the science findings that have not survived closer scrutiny.

  2. Partial image of Venus, which appears blue and swirly

    Hope for life on Venus survives for centuries against all odds

    Early scientists often assumed that Venus, though hotter than Earth, hosted life.

  3. Painting of Galileo's trial
    Science & Society

    A new Galileo biography draws parallels to today’s science denialism

    ‘Galileo and the Science Deniers’ delivers a fresh assessment of the life of a scientific legend and offers lessons for today.

  4. atomic bomb explosion at Hiroshima

    How understanding nature made the atomic bomb inevitable

    On the anniversary of Hiroshima, here’s a look back at the chain reaction of basic discoveries that led to nuclear weapons.

  5. satellite dishes of the allen telescope array

    Self-destructive civilizations may doom our search for alien intelligence

    A lack of signals from space may also be bad news for Earthlings.

  6. atom illustration
    Science & Society

    Scientists sometimes conceal a lack of knowledge with vague words

    Life, time, intelligence — plenty of terms used in science have imprecise definitions.

  7. Harlow Shapley, Heber Curtis

    A century ago, astronomy’s Great Debate foreshadowed today’s view of the universe

    The argument between Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis 100 years ago was ultimately settled by Edwin Hubble.

  8. computer visualization of a hypergraph

    Stephen Wolfram’s hypergraph project aims for a fundamental theory of physics

    Simple rules generating complicated networks may be how to build the universe.

  9. Albert Einstein

    Einstein’s letters illuminate a mind grappling with quantum mechanics

    The latest volume of Einstein’s papers covers the infancy of quantum mechanics and new challenges to the theory of relativity.

  10. quantum entanglement illustration

    How a quantum technique highlights math’s mysterious link to physics

    Verifying proofs to very hard math problems is possible with infinite quantum entanglement.

  11. atomic bomb
    Science & Society

    Top 10 science anniversaries in 2020

    2020 marks anniversaries of the discovery of electromagnetism and X-rays, plus the first atomic bomb

  12. pensive robot
    Artificial Intelligence

    A will to survive might take AI to the next level

    Neuroscientists argue that the biological principle of homeostasis will lead to improved, “feeling” robots.