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Guest Writer

Tom Siegfried

Blog writer, Context

Tom Siegfried, former editor in chief of Science News, writes the Context blog at www.sciencenews.org. 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 three books: The Bit and the Pendulum, (Wiley, 2000); Strange Matters (National Academy of Sciences’ Joseph Henry Press, 2002); and A Beautiful Math (2006, Joseph Henry Press).

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, and the American Chemical Society’s James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. He is currently on the board of directors and serves as treasurer for the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Tom Siegfried's Articles

  • 
    Context

    Trust in gravity isn’t always the best astronomy policy

    Historical episodes involving Neptune, Mercury and gravity have implications for today’s dark matter and dark energy mysteries.

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    Context

    Top 10 things everybody should know about science

    Much of scientific knowledge can be condensed into a few basic principles that every educated person should know.

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    Context

    Polls don’t identify the real science education problem

    Concerns that Americans do poorly when quizzed on factual scientific knowledge don’t address deeper issues of scientific understanding.

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    Context

    Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math

    Many doctors, and the news media, don’t understand that because of the statistics of screening tests, a test with 90 percent accuracy can give a wrong diagnosis more than 90 percent of the time.

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    Context

    Shor’s code-breaking algorithm inspired reflections on quantum information

    Twenty years ago, physicists met in Santa Fe to explore the ramifications of quantum information.

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    Context

    Quantum experts discuss the measurement problem: A transcript from 1994

    A fairly complete transcript of a discussion about quantum physics on May 19, 1994, the last day of a workshop in Santa Fe, N.M., evolves into a more general discussion of the interpretation of quantum mechanics and the quantum measurement problem.

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    Context

    Robert Redford film foretold Shor’s quantum computing bombshell

    Twenty years ago, Peter Shor showed how quantum computers could break secret codes, turning the movie Sneakers from fiction to fact.

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    Context

    Maybe time’s arrow needs ergodicity as well as entropy

    Explaining the arrow of time might require an equilibrium universe with hidden ergodic dynamics.

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  • Feature

    Cosmic question mark

    Two ways of measuring the universe’s expansion rate disagree by about 10 percent. One of the methods may be flawed. Or it could be that a hitherto unobserved phenomenon is at work.
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    Context

    Top 10 cosmological discoveries

    The cosmic microwave background radiation has played a part in many of cosmology’s greatest discoveries.

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