Eliot has worked as a writer and researcher in Boston, a consultant and copyeditor in Finland and, briefly, as a shepherd in Norway. He enjoys covering health and medicine for the Harvard Health Publications, is drawn to energy and environmental topics, and loves exposing the science of things not routinely considered scientific, like throwing a good curveball.
Eliot received a B.A. in English at Pitzer College in California and wrote a novel no one seemed to love but him. He was living comfortably beneath Finland’s midnight sun before he decided to get a post-bac at the Harvard Extension School’s Health Careers Program. At Harvard Medical School, Eliot monitored volunteers undergoing 86 hours of sleep deprivation and strapped seniors into NASA-designed rocket seats to examine the balance system’s effects on brain blood flow. He then jumped into BU’s science journalism program upon realizing that science journalists are allowed to start sentences with “and.” And the rest is history.
Jenna comes from the Mule Capital of the World (Bishop, California), where her pastimes included reading, writing and blowing things up in the desert. At St. John's College, she tasted lab chemicals and spent a lot of time proving what most people already know—that the Earth orbits the Sun and quantum physics is weird. She also studied Ptolemy and Aristotle, and is now looking to apply her cutting edge knowledge to the wide world of science journalism.
After college, Jenna spent two years in Japan. There, she taught the Macarena to over 500 grade schoolers and conquered her fear of karaoke. Her writing appears in Geotimes, The Bulletin of the Santa Fe Institute, The Comment, Awa Life, SierraScapes and The Inyo Register.
Joe originally hails from the fashionable streets of Amherst, New York. He then lived in Baltimore before moving to Boston for his graduate degree in science journalism, a career which he hopes will allow him to continue moving around the cities of the U.S. in alphabetical order.
Previously, Joe worked as a writer, editor and web designer for an educational research at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, where he very nearly fell in with computer engineering and premed before majoring in creative writing and the natural sciences. He spent one summer abroad, volunteering as a first-aid responder for Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance service. Since coming to BU, Joe has covered a variety of science topics, and spent his summer writing for the ABC News Medical Unit. His work has also appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, The Comment and Innovation.
After laboring at labs and spending most nights at the library while in Cornell University’s biology program, Lauren Cahoon heard about the mysterious field of science journalism, and decided she might like that more than doing the science herself. She’s now pursuing a life of wealth and luxury as a graduate student at BU’s science journalism program.
While in the program, Lauren has written about a variety of subjects, such as octopus intelligence, the ethics of tree plantations, and religion’s effect on the brain. She also interned at NOVA and the Harvard Medical School’s Focus magazine. The science-writing life provided many glamorous experiences, including wading through shin-deep mud at the starting line of the Boston Marathon, watching army ants devour a live worm, and photographing a bunch of camera-shy flounder fish.
Andrea tried her hand at a variety of career paths before choosing science journalism. After majoring in biology in college, she worked at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, developing immunological tests for dolphins and beluga whales. After realizing that she enjoyed talking about science more than sitting at the lab bench, she became a health educator at Planned Parenthood and later worked as a science writer for the nonprofit Vision of Children Foundation.
Andrea also flexed her creative muscles working as a scenic painter at the La Jolla Playhouse and traveling to Florence, Italy to study language and art restoration. Andrea left the comforts of sunny California to pursue a master's in science journalism at BU, where she can merge her scientific interests and creative side by writing about science. She has tackled story topics such as the intersection of fashion and technology in “smart” clothes, breastfeeding challenges in the third world, and the plight of the bluefin tuna.
Radha cut her journalistic teeth on her college newspaper after realizing that she had to do something constructive with her free time when Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air. She eventually became the science and technology editor and, since she stays up until 2 a.m. most nights anyway, she decided a career in science writing would be good for her.
Radha has lived in Tokyo, Japan, and Harare, Zimbabwe, but home base is always Washington, D.C., where she was born. She received a B.S. in biology at Carnegie Mellon University, but after yet another budding yeast lab report, decided to indulge in literature courses and received a B.A. in English as well. Although she misses driving the family station wagon, she is in love with her beat-up green Huffy and thinks it is a far superior way of getting around Boston than the T. Radha is currently working on a master’s in science journalism at BU. Her writings have appeared in The Fenway News and City Living Magazine.
Lauren grew up with a view of an old rodeo and the 14,000-foot Long’s Peak from her back porch. By day she observed the prairie dog society behind her house and explored the properties of “Indian clay” buried a few inches under the top soil. At night, she and her four siblings listened to hours of her father reading Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. The love of literature and messy experiments stayed with her through high school graduation and the trip east to Smith College. For three years in college Lauren was in agony over choosing a career in literature or chemistry. Then one fateful seminar, she met authors Alan Lightman, Andrea Barrett and Stephen Pinker and realized there was a way out: a career writing about science.
Some editing jobs, the GREs and many loans later, Lauren has enjoyed the BU science journalism program as well as a summer internship at NPR’s Living on Earth. After graduation, she hopes to report for print and radio outlets. She also hopes to escape the Boston traffic as soon as possible for some peaceful camping and climbing.
Kristina got her start explaining science as the founder of her high school's astronomy club. Writing on the board with colored chalk, she taught constellations and organized star parties for fellow enthusiasts. She left the quiet suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware, for Sarah Lawrence College in New York where, with three 20-page papers due at the end of each semester, she inadvertently learned to write under deadline. As an undergrad focused on writing and neurobiology, she picked out the brains of teeny fish in the biology lab, wrote and edited fiction for the school's literary magazine, and tried to make science fun for rowdy Westchester elementary kids through Mad Science.
After graduation, she moved into the city where she worked as a bookseller and then a technician in an epidemiology lab at Columbia University. After a year of frozen fingers and chemical burns, she decided to apply to graduate school to thaw out her hands while typing out the latest science news. Last summer she interned at Sky & Telescope magazine, writing about space launches, Mars and asteroids.
As a little girl growing up in a small New Hampshire town, Laura could usually be found in one of two places—running around outside, or curled up with her nose buried deep in a book. And her passions for nature and the written word have never quite left her. Graduating from college with a degree in biology and English, she has taken a winding road to science journalism. Starting with a short stint as a research technician in a molecular biology lab, she then worked for a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer, followed by four years as a math and science textbook editor.
Currently, Laura is pursuing a master’s degree in science journalism. During this time, she has enjoyed writing stories on topics that range from the science of cooking to exurban land use. When she puts her red pen down, Laura also likes to stay active by scaling rock cliffs, pounding the pavement in her running shoes, and tossing around a disc during ultimate Frisbee games.
Karen Rowan came to Boston from Chicago, where she spent eight years teaching high school biology. She also coached the swim team and sponsored the science club, all while attending graduate school in the evenings to earn an M.S. in biology. At the end of each school year, she collapsed in an exhausted heap for about a week, and then spent the rest of her summer satisfying her wanderlust. Karen has kayaked across the steel blue waters of Alaska's Prince William Sound, hiked through shoe-shredding lava flows in Costa Rica, and haggled over the price of a chicken at a Nigerien market. Upon leaving teaching, she kicked around ideas for many science-related careers before settling on the widely understood and ever-lucrative job of a science writer.
Naturally, Karen has a penchant for writing about all things biological, and when she's tackling challenging pieces, she'll think back to those days behind the teacher's desk when the students' shrieks of 'but I don't understand!' compelled her to communicate clearly and concisely. There is no tougher audience than those cynical, eye-rolling sophomores.
At various points of her life, Iris wanted to be a professional badminton player, a veterinarian, a World War I historian, a chef and a microbiologist. By the time she filled out her University of Alberta registration form, she managed to make up her mind and settled on immunology and infection. But there was still this nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach and she was mortified by the prospect of spending the rest of her life studying one single gene of a virus—even if the virus is the very interesting (and common) Herpes Simplex Virus. She was later lured into science journalism after a serendipitous conversation at a dinner party. After an internship stint at NOVA and one at CBC Radio, she's even more convinced that this is the elusive career she's been looking for.
As a transplanted Canadian living in Boston, Iris indulges her inner Canuck by downloading various CBC podcasts and watching whatever hockey game that manages to filter through her basic cable subscription. As for those previous career prospects, well, she'll still read any book on trench warfare and she's this close to perfecting the béarnaise sauce.
Vijay, a native of tropical South India, now braves the occasionally bitter winters of her adopted home in New England. She manages to stay warm by keeping one metaphorical foot in both worlds. An inorganic chemist by training, she did her time as a programmer for a start-up company during the dotcom era. She was also part of the finishing team for the Human Genome Project. Five years at MIT opened her eyes to interesting research that happens around her on a daily basis. Instead of doing science, she decided to write about it and share her excitement with the world.
In her spare time, Vijay hopes to translate the Supa Shastra, an ancient Sanskrit treatise about the science of food, into English. So, if you want the authentic recipe for Paneer Butter Masala, email her a few years from now. Vijay's food essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor.