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. Out of the fabric

    Of all the mysteries of life and the universe, none resist the sleuthing of science’s best private eyes more obstinately than the ultimate nature of space and time. Every several centuries or so, profound insights do occur, immortalizing the names of the investigators who achieved them: Euclid (who cataloged the insights preceding him), Galileo, Newton, […]

  2. Cosmic questions, answers pending

    Throughout human history, great missions of exploration have been inspired by curiosity, the desire to find out about unknown realms. Such missions have taken explorers across wide oceans and far below their surfaces, deep into jungles, high onto mountain peaks and over vast stretches of ice to the Earth’s polar extremities. Today’s greatest exploratory mission […]

  3. Health & Medicine

    Mom’s past drug abuse may alter brain chemistry of offspring

    A new study in rats suggests that the lingering effects of adolescent opiate use may be passed on for two generations, even if the female is drug-free when she gets pregnant.

  4. Life

    Three scientists, three wishes (with extras for the cosmologist)

    Research luminaries reveal the questions they'd most like to see answered.

  5. Quantum weirdness

    Quantum weirdness Some key concepts in quantum mechanics lead to rather startling results. In the quantum world, objects can be in two states at once and the outcomes of experiments can change depending on when, how and how often scientists make their measurements. Double-slit experiment An electron can be either a wave or a particle […]

  6. Quantum Physics

    Like fate of cat, quantum debate is still unresolved

    Entanglement is now one of the hottest research fields in physics. It is pursued not only for insights into the nature of reality, but also for developing new technologies.

  7. Quantum Physics

    Clash of the Quantum Titans

    After decades of debate, disputes over the mathematical rules governing reality remain unresolved.

  8. A New View of Gravity

    Explaining gravity to a small child is simple: All you have to say is, what goes up must come down. OSMOSIS AND ENTROPY In osmosis, water flows across a membrane because of an entropy gradient. Something similar may explain the force of gravity. B. Rakouskas Until the kid asks why. What can you say? It’s […]

  9. Book Review: Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History by Ahmad Dallal

    A millennium ago, the Islamic world was civilization’s Science Central, the primary haven for contemplating the cosmos and discerning the natural laws governing physical existence. While the Arabo-Islamic scientists of this period have on occasion been portrayed as mere preservers and translators of ancient Greek science, they in fact engaged in extensive creative scientific activity, […]

  10. Climate

    New carbon data should produce better climate forecasts

    BLOG: More refined measurements for carbon dioxide input by plants and carbon dioxide released during respiration will help models, Science News editor in chief Tom Siegfried reports from the Euroscience Open Forum 2010 in Turin, Italy.

  11. Astronomy

    The universe according to Planck

    Science News editor in chief Tom Siegfried reports on a new image of the early cosmos from the Euroscience Open Forum meeting in Turin, Italy.

  12. Law & Disorder

    In a famous passage from his 1938 book The Realm of Truth, the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana compared time to a flame running along a fuse. The flame’s position marked the present moment, speeding forward but never backward as the fuse disappeared behind it. “The essence of nowness,” Santayana remarked, “runs like fire along the […]