Quanta Magazine is an editorially independent online publication launched by the Simons Foundation to enhance public understanding of science. Why Quanta? Albert Einstein called photons “quanta of light.” Our goal is to “illuminate science.”
Our reporters focus on developments in mathematics, theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and the basic life sciences. The best traditional news organizations provide excellent reporting on applied areas of science such as health, medicine, technology, engineering and the environment. We strive to complement and augment existing media coverage, not compete with it.
Our work often resembles journalistic alchemy — we mash together the complexities of science with the malleable art of storytelling in an attempt to forge a precious new alloy. It can be a mind-bending enterprise, but we relish the challenge.
At Quanta Magazine, scientific accuracy is every bit as important as telling a good story. All of our articles are meticulously researched, reported, edited, copy-edited and fact-checked. And having editorial independence ensures the impartiality of our science coverage — our articles do not reflect or represent the views of the Simons Foundation.
To reach an even wider audience, we have syndication partnerships with ScientificAmerican.com, Wired.com, TheAtlantic.com and other publications, which reprint our articles free of charge. Through international partnerships, our articles have been translated into German, Chinese and Japanese, and we plan to make them available in other languages. We want everyone to keep reading.
Thank you for your interest in Quanta Magazine. We invite you to explore our pages and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Editor in Chief
Thomas Lin is the founding editor of Quanta Magazine. He joined the Simons Foundation in 2012 after more than seven years at The New York Times, where he managed the online science and national news sections, edited the Scientist at Work blog, created the Profiles in Science video series, produced the Science Times podcast, and wrote about science, tennis and technology. He has also been a home page editor for The Indianapolis Star, a reporter and photographer covering Queens, New York, a teacher and a mechanical engineer. He holds a College Scholar bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in teaching from Oregon State University, completed the Writers’ Institute program at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and has taught at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Follow on Twitter.
Before joining Quanta Magazine in 2014, Michael Moyer spent six years at Scientific American, where he was most recently in charge of physics and space coverage and led the magazine’s special editorial projects. His writing has been recognized with the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and included in the 2013 edition of the “The Best American Science and Nature Writing.” Prior to his tenure at Scientific American, he was articles editor at Popular Science magazine, and before that, he studied physics and the philosophical foundations of physics at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. Follow on Twitter.
Kevin Hartnett is a senior writer at Quanta Magazine covering mathematics and computer science. His work was featured in the the Best Writing on Mathematics in 2013 and 2016. He also writes “Brainiac,” a weekly column for the Boston Globe’s Ideas section. Follow on Twitter.
Natalie Wolchover is a senior writer at Quanta Magazine covering the physical sciences. Previously, she wrote for Popular Science, LiveScience and other publications. She has a bachelor’s in physics from Tufts University, studied graduate-level physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-authored several academic papers in nonlinear optics. Her writing was featured in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015. She is the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award and the 2016 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for young science journalists. Follow on Twitter.
Olena Shmahalo joined Quanta Magazine in 2014 after seven years as an art director at the digital advertising agency KBS+P, where she designed, illustrated and directed interactive and print work for clients like BMW and Vera Wang. She earned a BFA in visual and critical studies from the School of Visual Arts in 2011, and is currently working toward a second bachelor’s, in physics, at the City College of New York. Follow on Instagram.
Jeanette Kazmierczak joined Quanta Magazine in September 2015 after graduating with a master’s of specialized journalism, focusing in science, from the University of Southern California. She was most recently an editorial assistant for the Global Climate Change website at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has interned with NOVA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For two years she was the science beat reporter for the University of Georgia’s student newspaper.
Laura Chang is an editor at large at The New York Times. She started at The Times in 1990 as a copy editor on the national desk and eventually became special projects editor, handling projects on welfare reform, the erosion of privacy, the spread of E. coli contamination, and the Unabomber. She joined the newspaper’s science department in 1998 and was science editor from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 she was assigned to conceive and produce a special print and digital issue on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. She is the editor of “Scientists at Work: Profiles of Today’s Groundbreaking Scientists from Science Times.” Born in Seattle, she studied journalism and psychology at the University of Washington and worked at The Seattle Times before moving to New York.
Benedict H. Gross is the George Vasmer Leverett professor of mathematics at Harvard University. Gross studied at Harvard and Oxford, previously held faculty positions at Princeton and Brown, and is a former dean of Harvard College. A number theorist known for his work on the Gross–Zagier theorem on L-functions of elliptic curves, he received the Cole Prize of the American Mathematical Society along with Don Zagier and Dorian M. Goldfeld in 1987. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.
Hopi E. Hoekstra is the Alexander Agassiz professor of zoology and the curator of mammals in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. Her research focuses on uncovering the genetic basis of morphological and behavioral traits that affect fitness of individuals in the wild. She received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. In 2013, Hoekstra was named a Howard Hughes Investigator, gave the commencement speech at Berkeley’s integrative biology department and was profiled in The New York Times. She has received Young Investigator awards from the American Society of Naturalists and the Beckman Foundation, and most recently, the National Academy of Sciences. At Harvard, she teaches an introductory course, “Genetics, Genomics and Evolution,” to approximately 500 freshmen each year, and has been awarded the Fannie Cox Prize and a Harvard College Professorship for teaching excellence.
Vincent Racaniello, professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University Medical Center, has been studying viruses since 1975, when he entered the doctoral program in biomedical sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York. Over the years his laboratory has studied a variety of viruses including poliovirus, echovirus, enterovirus 70, rhinovirus and hepatitis C virus. Racaniello’s virology courses on iTunes University and Coursera have engaged 125,000 students in the past two years. He is the co-author of a leading virology textbook, “Principles of Virology”; writes a virology blog (virology.ws); and produces three podcasts: “This Week in Virology,” “This Week in Parasitism” and “This Week in Microbiology.”
Howard Schneider is the founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. For more than 35 years, Schneider was a reporter and editor at Newsday. For nearly 18 of those years, he was managing editor and then the paper’s top editor. Under his tenure, the paper won eight Pulitzer Prizes in categories including investigative reporting, deadline reporting, arts criticism, specialized beat reporting and foreign affairs reporting. At Stony Brook, Schneider helped develop the nation’s first course in news literacy, which teaches undergraduates across all disciplines to become discerning news consumers. He also collaborated with the actor Alan Alda in launching the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which is housed in the journalism school. The center, the first of its kind in the country, trains current and future scientists to communicate more effectively with the general public.
Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. He studied at Princeton, Cambridge and Harvard and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to Cornell in 1994. A renowned teacher and one of the world’s most highly cited mathematicians, he blogs about math for The New York Times and has been a frequent guest on “RadioLab.” His honors include a Presidential Young Investigator Award; the E. M. Baker Award, MIT’s highest teaching prize; and a lifetime achievement award for the communication of mathematics to the general public, awarded by the four major American mathematical societies. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of “Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos,” “Sync” and “The Calculus of Friendship.” His latest book is “The Joy of x.”
Michael S. Turner is the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and president of the American Physical Society. Turner studied physics at the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University. His scholarly contributions include predicting cosmic acceleration and coining the term dark energy, showing how quantum fluctuations evolved into the seed perturbations for galaxies during cosmic inflation, and putting forward several key ideas that led to the cold dark matter theory of structure formation. His honors include the Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the Klopsted Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the Heineman Prize (with Edward Kolb) of the AAS and the American Institute of Physics. In 2011 he gave the Darwin Lecture for the Royal Astronomical Society.
Leslie B. Vosshall is the Robin Chemers Neustein professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at The Rockefeller University. The long-term goal of her laboratory is to understand how behaviors emerge from the integration of sensory input with internal physiological states. Vosshall received an A.B. in biochemistry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She conducted postdoctoral research with Richard Axel at Columbia before joining the Rockefeller faculty in 2000. She was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2008 and has received awards from the John Merck, Beckman and McKnight foundations. She was awarded the 2008 Lawrence C. Katz Prize from Duke University, the 2010 DART/NYU Biotechnology Award, and the 2011 Gill Young Investigator Award.