SciTini logo
contact information


(617) 353-4239

Mailing address:
SciTini c/o
Center for Science
and Medical Journalism
Boston University
College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

copyright information

All articles © 2006 by their authors

See captions for image copyrights and credits

About SciTini

You can't escape science. It's in the cell phone you use, the trees you climbed as a child, the aspirin you take and the organic tofu wrap you ate for lunch. And because science pervades almost every aspect of your life--either making it better or explaining the world you live in--we believe you should be able to understand it. We want to provide you with science stories that are helpful, compelling or just plain amusing--the kind of stories you could share with friends over a drink.

SciTini is produced by the graduate students at Boston University's Center for Science and Medical Journalism.

SciTini Writers

Eric Bland
Patrick L. Barry
Elizabeth Bassett
Kirk J. Fernandes
Kate Fink
Taylor Maurand
Liz Savage
Molly F. Wetterschneider
Karen Wiens
Intern Mae

Patrick L. Barry  
Patrick came dangerously close to becoming a mechanical engineer,
flirted with physical therapy for two years, and earned a bachelor's
degree in environmental science before falling in love with science
journalism.  No doubt these undergraduate wanderings caused his
parents more than a little heartache, but in the end, it proved an
excellent preparation for writing about science.  Engineering gave
Patrick a solid grounding in the physical sciences; physical therapy
provided familiarity with medicine and psychology; and environmental
science filled in the life sciences and ecology.  As luck would have
it (and much to his parents' relief), this kind of broad foundation
in a wide range of sciences is just the kind of education that a
science journalist needs.

During his final year at the University of Florida, Patrick worked as
an intern and stringer for the city desk of the local daily paper,
The Gainesville Sun.  After graduation he ventured to Spain (just
because he wanted to) where he lived for four years, primarily in
Barcelona.  There he wrote science news for a NASA-affiliated website
and a local English-language magazine.  Eventually, and in spite of
his love affair with Barcelona, the need to further his journalism
career brought him back to the US and to Boston.

Click here for all Patrick's articles.
Email Patrick at pb(at)

Elizabeth Bassett
ight word counts and even tighter deadlines are the keys to Elizabeth’s writing as she tries to make geeky science topics available to even the most phobic of readers. With a degree from the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University, she’s fixated on clarity in science articles because she doesn’t have the technical background to understand complicated things about physics or biochemistry. And while she admits she can’t think much past 800 words, she would like to write in-depth articles for newspapers and news magazines.

After earning her degree from BU, she will probably make a hasty retreat back to Texas, which she calls home. After a year or two of thawing from the New England winters, she would then like to move to a city with a large newspaper. And yes, she’d even be willing to try Boston again, despite the fact she complained about the weather when it was only 50 degrees outside.

Some might think Elizabeth is procrastinating when she goes out on a 30-mile bike ride when a deadline is just days away, but she will insist she can think better on the road. Genuine distractions include reading books of almost any kind, partaking of the four main food groups (cake, cereal, soup and soda) and riding her horse, Topper, a jumper who’s as accident prone as his owner.

Click here for all of Elizabeth's articles.

Eric Bland
Eric spent too much time in his youth hanging out by the river by his house in northern Indiana, catching mussels, crayfish and trying in vain to take apart beaver dams for use in science fair projects. While his parents encouraged his interest in biology, they undermined their goal by refusing to give their son money for getting good grades, a common form of bribery among the natives of Fort Wayne. Instead, they bought him books for every A he received and were shocked when their son switched majors from biology to English. During his summers at Allegheny College, Eric worked on biological and environmental research projects across the western United States, one of which led to an award-winning senior thesis about tracking radio-tagged rattlesnakes in Idaho.

More recently, Eric has fallen further down the rabbit hole of science, writing for the particle physics laboratories at both the bison-haunted prairies of Fermilab in Illinois and the sheep- maintained lawns of CERN near Geneva. Currently he is studying Chinese while pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Boston University. Bitten by the travel bug during his summer in Switzerland, Eric plans to write about science and technology while traveling the world.

Click here for all of Eric's articles.
Email Eric at ebland(at)

Andrea Carter
Andrea sampled a variety of career paths before focusing on science journalism. After majoring in biology in college, she worked in the lab, developing immunological tests for dolphins and beluga whales. Realizing that she enjoyed talking about science more than working at the lab bench, she took a job as a health educator at Planned Parenthood. 

On the side, she also flexed her creative muscles working as a scenic artist at the La Jolla Playhouse and traveling to Florence, Italy to study language and art restoration. Working as a writer at a nonprofit scientific organization, Andrea found that she could merge her creative side and scientific interests by writing about science. This realization (along with a new job for her husband) led her from the comfort of sunny California to Boston where she is pursuing a master’s degree in science journalism at Boston University

Story topics she has tackled include the intersection of fashion and technology in Smart-clothes, breastfeeding challenges in the third world, and the bluefin tuna. With the birth of her baby girl, Mae, Andrea is now immersed in the topic of motherhood. She lives with her husband and daughter in Cambridge, MA.

Click here for all of Andrea's articles.

Kirk J. Fernandes
Kirk first developed the idea that he might become a journalist during his teenage years, when he spent many a night falling asleep at a television tuned to CNN.  The next morning he would wake up osmotically imparted with the latest news.  If only all newsgathering was so effortless. 

At the University of Hawaii-Manoa, Kirk made the logical progression from studies in computer science to a double-major in broadcast journalism and Japanese language.  De mo, wasurete shimatta.  He would later work as a producer and reporter at the ABC and FOX affiliates in Honolulu.

From his oxygen-deprived explorations at the astronomical facilities atop Mauna Kea, to his mosquito-repelling adventures in the once-Dengue Fever-plagued towns of East Maui, Kirk developed a passion for science and medical journalism.  He’s hoping his Master’s degree will get him that lofty 2-percent annual raise he always thought he deserved.  Kirk lives in Brighton, Mass.

Click here for all of Kirk's articles.
Email Kirk at kirkf(at)

Kate Fink
Kate hails from the frigid climes of Shelburne, Vermont. Her current habitation in the temperate southern warmth of Boston feels mild in comparison, though she often visits her homeland in the north for the deeper snow, maple syrup, and cheese.

Kate studied biochemistry at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Despite her love of cellular signal transduction pathways, she couldn’t face the prospect of pipetting away her youth in a laboratory. She worked as a medical writer at a pharmaceutical research and development company for four years before entering the Boston University Science Journalism Master’s Degree program. Here she has written on topics including fungal and insect pests that threaten to destroy cacao trees, the debate over health risks of raw milk, the energy balance of ethanol fuel, and the possibly addictive nature of tanning. Biochemistry, medicine, agriculture, food and science that seems too wacky to be true (but actually is) spark her interest.

Kate’s work has appeared in Science NextWave and Harvard Focus. If not tapping away on her laptop, Kate might be found skiing, reading the past week’s worth of Wall St. Journals in one sitting (to catch up), or continuing her efforts to become a faster triathlete. She also maintains a stockpile of dark chocolate bars in an undisclosed location in case those pests actually do decimate the world’s cocoa supply. 

Click here for all of Kate's articles.
Email Kate at katefink(at)

Taylor Maurand
Taylor hails from the quaint New England regions North of Boston, but currently resides in Somerville with her cat, a bird, and a couple of housemates. Taylor studied Art and English at Oberlin College, and had a brief career building costumes for theatre before coming to Boston University to study Journalism, of all things. Somehow in this convoluted voyage she has made her way to the Science Journalism Department, which treats her like one of their own. She is interested in magazine and book writing, and is currently exploring Public Radio, with internships at WBUR and a weekly news magazine for the College of Communications radio station, WTBU. 

Liz Savage
Growing up, Liz wanted to be an astronaut. She was the nerdy kid in class who loved math and had a poster of a space shuttle launch hanging on her bedroom wall. She may have been to the space station and back by now if fate had not stepped in.

It was a routine visit to her pediatrician that killed her dreams of space forever. Liz, who was a gangly 5 feet tall at age 10, was off the growth charts and very likely would grow to a stunning 5’10” (at least). Liz was devastated by predictions of supermodel stature, for was under the impression that NASA had a strict height limitation of 5’8”. (This turned out to be false information, but Liz didn’t find out until many years later.)

Dejected and downtrodden, Liz considered a number of alternate career paths—basketball superstar, teen pop sensation, organic wine maker—but ultimately found her calling in science journalism, which allows her to indulge her inner nerd while at the same time exploring topics such as neuroscience, medicine, global health, and the environment.

Click here for all of Liz's articles.
Email Liz at elizabeth.savage(at)

Molly F. Wetterschneider
The hybrid offspring of a biologist and a seismologist, Molly grew up in Austin, Texas with three brothers, three sisters, assorted gerbils, and a boa constrictor.  From a very young age, she intended to be a chemist.  But, after earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Texas and holding a few laboratory jobs, she realized that mixing resins, prodding bacteria, and inhaling solvent fumes was a horrible way to spend a day.  Molly soon applied her enthusiasm for science to the field of educational publishing and worked as an editor and freelance writer for six years on various elementary and high school science textbooks.  At present, she’s working on her master’s in science and medical journalism at Boston University in hopes that she can reach a broader audience through both print and radio.  She lives in Allston, Massachusetts with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

Click here for all of Molly's articles.
Email Molly at mollyfro(at)

Karen Wiens
Karen detested Science Fair projects, so a career in research was not meant to be.  To indulge her love of learning and discussing science, she obtained a Biology Education degree from Purdue University in her home state of Indiana. She has a teacher’s license, but student teaching convinced her that others were more suited to that vital occupation.  She discovered writing as an alternative avenue to expound on scientific endeavors without actually having to do them.

Karen enjoys writing about life sciences and interesting applications of technology.  She has written about computer programs that improve the reliability of eyewitness accounts, the use of computers  to translate between English and American Sign Language, and using GPS technology for “treasure hunting” in geocaching, which she subsequently adopted as a hobby.

Outside the science realm, Karen is fascinated with all things Russian, as she spent her senior year of high school in voluntary exile to Siberia and later went on a semester study abroad program to St. Petersburg.  She also has a strong penchant for music, which she currently exercises by taking a conducting class and playing handbells at Old South Church.  Some of her favorite handbell pieces include “Axel F,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas.”

Click here for all of Karen's articles.
Email Karen at wiensk(at)