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. The Statue of Liberty up to its waist in water, under gray cloudy skies
    Science & Society

    Here are the Top 10 threats to the survival of civilization

    These aren’t just movie scenarios. From aliens and asteroids to pandemics, war and climate change, civilization as we know it is at risk.

  2. A photo of Louis Pasteur's head surrounded by illustrations of scientific equipment, leaves, and swirls
    Health & Medicine

    Louis Pasteur’s devotion to truth transformed what we know about health and disease

    Two centuries after his birth, Louis Pasteur's work on pasteurization, germ theory and vaccines is as relevant as ever.

  3. black and white photo of Alexander Friedmann

    A century ago, Alexander Friedmann envisioned the universe’s expansion

    Alexander Friedmann saw that Einstein’s equations predicted multiple cosmic scenarios, including a Big Bang.

  4. apparatus of the Daya Bay experiment, with shiny orbs attached to long walls
    Science & Society

    Here are the Top 10 times scientific imagination failed

    Some scientists of the past couldn’t imagine that atoms or gravity waves could one day be studied – or nuclear energy harnessed.

  5. black and white image of Niels Bohr standing in front of a chalkboard
    Quantum Physics

    ‘From Data to Quanta’ defends Niels Bohr’s view of quantum mechanics

    In his new book, philosopher Slobodan Perović corrects misconceptions about physicist Niels Bohr’s work.

  6. image of a slide rule
    Science & Society

    Here are the Top 10 science anniversaries of 2022

    Insulin to treat diabetes, the slide rule and the birthdays of Gregor Mendel and Louis Pasteur make the list.

  7. illustration of two arched doorways showing a tree in day and night
    Quantum Physics

    A century of quantum mechanics questions the fundamental nature of reality

    A century after the quantum revolution, a lot of uncertainty remains.

  8. black and white photograph of Edwin Hubble looking into a telescope
    Science & Society

    The Top 10 scientific surprises of Science News’ first 100 years

    In the 100 years since Science News started reporting on it, science has offered up plenty of unexpected discoveries.

  9. A 17th century painting of an alchemist
    Science & Society

    ‘On the Fringe’ explores the thin line between science and pseudoscience

    In his latest book, historian Michael Gordin surveys astrology, eugenics and other fringe movements to show how challenging it is to define pseudoscience.

  10. Steven Weinberg sitting in front of a chalkboard covered in equations

    With Steven Weinberg’s death, physics loses a titan

    The Nobel laureate advanced the theory of particles and forces, and wrote insightfully for a wider public.

  11. statue of Anaxagoras
    Science & Society

    2,500 years ago, the philosopher Anaxagoras brought science’s spirit to Athens

    Natural philosopher Anaxagoras promoted the view that phenomena should be explained by natural processes, not attributed to the actions of the gods.

  12. Neptune in space
    Science & Society

    We’ve covered science for 100 years. Here’s how it has — and hasn’t — changed

    Today’s researchers pursue knowledge with more detail and sophistication, but some of the questions remain the same.