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. lawyer presenting evidence to a jury
    Math

    Courts’ use of statistics should be put on trial

    Bayesian statistics offer a useful tool for avoiding fallacies in legal reasoning.

  2. Francis Crick
    Science & Society

    Francis Crick’s good luck revolutionized biology

    Francis Crick, born 100 years ago, chose to study molecular biology first and then later tackled consciousness.

  3. Math

    Despite misuses, statistics still has solid foundation

    In "The Seven Pillars of Statistics Wisdom," Stephen Stigler lays out the basic principles of statistics.

  4. equations for circuitry of electronic combination lock
    Math

    Claude Shannon’s information theory built the foundation for the digital era

    Claude Shannon, born 100 years ago, devised the mathematical representation of information that made the digital era possible.

  5. Allen Telescope Array
    Science & Society

    Humans have pondered aliens since medieval times

    People have been fascinated with extraterrestrials for centuries. If only aliens would get in touch.

  6. Hydrogen reactions diagram
    Physics

    New type of catalyst could aid hydrogen fuel

    A substance that can switch states might make an efficient catalyst for extracting hydrogen from water.

  7. scene from Raphael's 'The School of Athens'
    Science & Society

    Physicist’s story of science breaks historians’ rules

    Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg says evaluating science’s past requires knowledge of the present.

  8. flock of birds
    Physics

    Like birds of a feather, sperm flock together

    Studies of sperm show that they swim in groups because of the elasticity of the mucus they travel through.

  9. Paolo Celli playing with LEGOs
    Materials Science

    Playing with building blocks for metamaterial design

    Legos show promise as a low-cost method to assist scientists in developing novel metamaterials.

  10. Math

    Experts issue warning on problems with P values

    A report from the American Statistical Association warns against misinterpretation and misuse of a common statistical test.

  11. remnant of a supernova
    Science & Society

    Historian puts new spin on scientific revolution

    The Invention of Science offers readers an unconventional perspective on the origins of modern science.

  12. illustration of gravitational waves from two black holes
    Physics

    Gravity waves exemplify the power of intelligent equations

    Discovering gravity waves confirms Einstein and illustrates the power of the human mind to discern physical phenomena hidden in mathematical equations.