Scientific American columnist to be writer in residence

Sept. 24, 2007

by Terry Devitt

Steve Mirsky, whose talent blending science and humor has been a staple of Scientific American since 1995 as reflected in the magazine's Anti Gravity column, has been named a University of Wisconsin-Madison Science Writer in Residence for fall 2007.

Mirsky, who is also a prodigious freelance science writer and a pioneering podcaster of science, will spend the week of Sept. 30 on the UW-Madison campus as a resource for students, faculty and staff interested in science communication. He will also give a free public lecture entitled "Evolution: Covering the Non-Controversy" at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Room 1106 of the UW-Madison Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Ave.

A graduate of Cornell University in chemistry, Mirsky has been writing about science since 1985 when he was awarded a Mass Media Fellowship by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also been awarded science journalism fellowships by the Marine Biological laboratory at Woods Hole, and by Columbia University. In 2003, he was also a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mirsky's freelance credits include Audubon, Technology Review, Astronomy magazine, Newsday, National Public Radio and National Wildlife, among others.

In February 2006, Mirsky developed the weekly Scientific American podcast Science Talk. In September of 2006, he launched a daily Scientific American podcast, 60-Second Science, which he produces and often hosts.

The UW-Madison Science Writer in Residence Program is supported by the UW Foundation and is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and University Communications. Since its inception in 1986, it has brought a nationally known science writer to campus each spring and fall semester as a resource for students and faculty. Past science writers in residence include Pulitzer Prize winners Deborah Blum, Laurie Garrett and Ron Kotulak.