Editor in Chief
Tom Siegfried, editor in chief of Science
News, was born in Ohio. 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 journalism career began at the Fort Worth Press and
he later served on the journalism faculty at Texas Christian
University before joining the Dallas Morning News, where
he was science editor from 1985 to 2004. 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, and the American Chemical Society’s James T. Grady-James
H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. He
is the author of The Bit and the Pendulum, (Wiley,
2000), and Strange Matters (Joseph Henry Press, 2002),
and A Beautiful Math (Joseph Henry Press, 2006), and
is also a contributor to the National Association of Science
Writers’ Field Guide for Science Writers.
Science is often presented as the source of certain knowledge, a cosmic constitution that governs the behavior of physical phenomena and the processes of life. Which it does. But that constitution does not decree a cause-and-effect certainty of unbreakable laws. Rather it encompasses principles of probability and statistics; the "laws" it establishes are those of chance.
From atoms and molecules, to life's evolution, to human nature and human society and even the existence and properties of the physical universe, science's insight into nature mirrors lessons learned from roulette wheels and flipping coins. Most important (and least understood) of all, science's methods of making discoveries rely (almost blindly) on statistical reasoning, which makes policy making based on scientific studies a very risky business.
Books by Tom Siegfried