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About American Scientist

Award-winning magazine American Scientist is an illustrated bi-monthly publication about science, engineering and technology. It has been published by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society since 1913.

Each issue is filled with feature articles written by prominent scientists and engineers who review important work in fields ranging from molecular biology to computer engineering. Also included is the Scientists' Nightstand that reviews a vast range of science-related books and novels.

Full access to the site is provided without additional charge to Sigma Xi members and institutional subscribers, who arrange site licenses. Individual subscribers can choose between print and digital versions, or a combination of both. More information about subscriptions can be found here: http://www.americanscientist.org/subscribe/.



American Scientist Staff 

Interim Publisher

David Moran

David Moran David Moran is an adjunct professor at West Virginia University, teaching a graduate course in camelid physiology and husbandry. He is concurrently a professor at George Washington University and a retired full professor from the U.S. Naval Academy. Moran has served as president of the U.S. National Technology Transfer Center, the David Taylor Institute, Technology Partnerships International and Crimson Shamrock, LLC. He is a founder of the North American Alpaca Federation and also founded and served as the president of the West Virginia Alpaca Organization, chairman of the AOBA Marketing Committee, treasurer of the Suri Network and treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic Alpaca Association.

He received his BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD at the University of Iowa in hydrodynamics and mathematics. He is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the JFK School at Harvard University. He is a former director of industrial outreach for advanced technology for the Office of Naval Research.


Editor-in-Chief

Jamie L. Vernon

JamieVernon Jamie is director of science communications and publications at Sigma Xi and editor-in-chief of American Scientist. He came to Sigma Xi after serving as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he developed strategies to measure and communicate the impacts of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) R&D investments. During his fellowship, he spent a portion of his time as Co-Chair of the Digital Communications Team for the Interagency Communication and Education Team at the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). At USGCRP, he initiated an effort to coordinate federal agencies' strategy for communicating climate science through new media. Vernon has written for Scientific American and was formerly a regular contributor to Chris Mooney's The Intersection, a blog at Discover magazine. He has traveled the country conducting workshops and clinics to help scientists develop their communication strategies. In 2013, he co-founded a ScienceOnline satellite group in Washington, DC, and organized the ScienceOnline Climate Conference. He became a member of Sigma Xi in 2013 and served on a panel at the 2013 Annual Meeting about science communication in the 21st century.

Joining the Sigma Xi team in Research Triangle Park, NC, represents a homecoming for him and his family, including his wife, two daughters and two Pugs. Prior to completing his PhD in cell and molecular biology at the University of Texas at Austin, he earned a MS in molecular biology/biotechnology from East Carolina University and a BS in zoology from North Carolina State University.

 Twitter: @JLVernonPhD


Interim Executive Editor

Corey S. Powell

View a list of Corey's work

CoreyPowell Corey S. Powell is a contributing editor of American Scientist magazine, published by the Sigma Xi society. He is also Editor at Large at DISCOVER magazine and a freelance contributor to Slate, Popular Science, and Nautilus. Corey spent 15 years on staff at DISCOVER, including five years as editor in chief. Before that he served eight years on the Board of Editors at Scientific American.
Corey has coordinated partnerships with the National Science Foundation and National Science Teachers Association, and has taught in NYU’s SHERP science journalism program, where he is currently a Visiting Scholar. He is the author of God in the Equation (Free Press), an exploration of the spiritual impulse in modern cosmology. As a producer, Corey has worked on “Last Days on Earth,” a 20/20 special, for ABC News, and the “Joe Genius” video series for the online network Revision3. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, the Sci-Fi Channel, and Science Friday, and is a frequent science commentator on Fox News. In an earlier life, he worked for NASA helping to test gamma-ray telescopes.
Corey lives with his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn, where he manages to glimpse the occasional star with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.

Twitter: @coreyspowell


Managing Editor

Fenella Saunders

View a list of Fenella's work

Fenella Saunders Fenella Saunders is the managing editor of American Scientist, where she has been on staff since 2005. She was previously a science writer/editor for New York University School of Medicine's publications office and associate editor of their magazine, NYU Physician. Additionally, she spent eight years at DISCOVER magazine, where she was an associate editor and online editor. A coauthor of Popular Science 's Space 2100: To Mars and Beyond in the Century to Come (Time Inc., 2003), she has also freelanced for Popular Mechanics, Scholastic, The Learning Channel, and The Discovery Channel. She received an AB degree in computer science from Duke University and a Master's degree in psychology and animal behavior from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She was selected as a fellow for the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship's "Nano: The Newest Technologies" workshop at MIT in 2009 and for their multimedia bootcamp at UC Berkeley's School of Journalism in 2010. She has been a Sigma Xi member since 2004 and is the vice president of the RTP chapter. Besides her skills in print writing and editing, she is proficient in audio and video editing and has a deep understanding of social media, new media, and publishing in the digital age.

Twitter: @FenellaSaunders


Senior Editor

Sandra J. Ackerman

View a list of Sandra's work

Sandra Ackerman

Sandra Ackerman is the senior editor of American Scientist. This is her second round of employment on the editorial staff; earlier, she worked on the magazine for 10 years in its New Haven, Connecticut, office, the last five of those as managing editor. In the intervening years, as a freelance writer, she published more than 125 news articles, features, book reviews, and columns about scientific and medical research and the people who carry it out.

Although she earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale College, Yale University, with a combined major in French and Russian literature, the scientific bent she inherited from both parents began to appear almost immediately afterwards: she attended a program on neuroscience for journalists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and later was awarded a fellowship from the Rosalynn Carter Program in Mental Health Journalism. Clients for her writing have included the AAAS, Archaeology, BrainWork, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin, Nature, New Scientist, Science, and Thirteen/WNET New York.

In addition, she has written two books on neuroscience and related topics: Discovering the Brain (National Academy Press, 1992) and Hard Science, Hard Choices: Facts, Ethics, and Policies Guiding Brain Science Today (The Dana Press, 2006).


Associate Editor

Katie L. Burke

View a list of Katie's work

Katie Burke Katie L. Burke is associate editor at American Scientist, a position she began in 2012. Before that, she was a visiting assistant professor of biology at Hampden-Sydney College, where she taught general biology and upper-level ecology. During her doctoral research in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia, she studied conservation biology and disease ecology. She has been a Sigma Xi member since 2009 and currently serves as secretary for the Research Triangle Park, NC, chapter. She worked on the NSF EESE grant awarded to Sigma Xi in 2013. Most recently, Katie led a discussion about issues facing women in science at ScienceOnline 2014 and also was awarded a fellowship in the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources North Carolina program on digital storytelling about environmental issues. She is currently organizing a panel on the science of science communication for the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting in August. She spearheaded American Scientist's social media strategy when she began her position, increasing the magazine's Facebook following more than fourfold in her first year. She also rekindled the Pizza Lunch Podcast series and is interested in expanding American Scientist's multimedia content. She blogs at The UnderStory.

Twitter: @_klburke


Web Managing Editor

Katie-Leigh Corder

View a list of Katie-Leigh's work

Katie-Leigh Lubinsky Katie-Leigh Corder is the web managing editor for American Scientist and started in January 2014. Previously, Katie-Leigh was a communications specialist contractor at the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development for two-and-a-half years where she created multimedia projects, wrote multiple journalistic and online content, maintained external and internal websites, and wrote multiple blogs and social media posts. Alongside the EPA, she volunteered at many nonprofits as their website and social media communications specialist including Citiwide Computer Training Center and Health 2.0 NC Triangle. Katie-Leigh graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with two BA degrees in journalism & mass communication (multimedia) and American history. She was a multimedia editorial intern at UNC’s General Alumni Association’s Carolina Alumni Review magazine for a year and simultaneously worked on The Daily Tar Heel for two years as a multimedia journalist. She also interned as a reporter at a local newspaper in her hometown, The State Port Pilot, while in high school. She was awarded the David Jordan Whichard II Scholarship in 2009 and the N.C. Press Association Scholarship in 2007 both for excellent journalistic achievements. A portfolio of her journalistic work can be viewed at www.katielubinsky.com. Alongside her skills in multimedia production and social networking, she is efficient in AP-style writing, graphic design, website development and design, and photography.

 Twitter: @KvCorder


Editorial Associate

Mia Evans

Mia Evans  Mia B. Evans is the coordinator of editorial operations, editorial assistant, and cartoon editor of American Scientist. She has been on staff since January 2001 and began as the administrative assistant in human resources. Mia transitioned into the coordinator of editorial operations position in April 2003. She handles permission requests, foreign usage contracts, author honoraria, royalties, PDFs for online usage, and the American Scientist copyright with the Library of Congress. She also composes correspondence for outgoing notification of copyright violations and maintains the entire American Scientist database of author and contributor information. Before Sigma Xi, she spent five years as a lead processor for the FFELP program with North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. She was the liaison to NCSEAA section personnel (Accounting, Computer Services, Administration, and Attorney General’s Office) on behalf of FFELP Information Services. Before her departure she designed and composed the training manual for the processing assistant position while working in the Nurse Scholars Program.


Art Director

Barbara Aulicino

Barbara Aulicino Barbara Aulicino joined the staff of American Scientist as a graphic artist in 2000 and became the art director in 2004. Previously, she was a document designer at the American Board of Pediatrics where she also worked on multimedia projects. She has worked as a graphic artist in New York and in North Carolina. She studied art at Pratt Institute, and received a BA degree in fine art from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She attended a 2013 Interactive Designer Workshop at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she looks forward to being involved in interactive design projects for Sigma Xi and American Scientist. A love of nature has led her to attend botanical illustration classes at North Carolina Botanical Garden, and she studies painting with a local artist. She also enjoys training dogs in obedience and agility and competing in AKC and UKC agility trials with her Golden Retrievers.


Contributing Art Director

Tom Dunne

Tom Dunne Tom Dunne is a contributing art director of American Scientist. He began working with American Scientist in 1991 as a freelance illustrator and moved to the position of art director in 2000. He went back to freelance in 2004 and returned as contributing art director in 2009. He attended Pratt Institute and The Stevenson Academy of Traditional Painting. He began in the field of advertising with clients including Sony, CBS, Olympus, Onkyo, TwinLab, and Harman Kardon. His experience in marketing, design, and technical, realistic, and cartoon illustration lent itself to a gradual switch to editorial art in general, fitting the wide range of skills required by American Scientist . Tom freelanced for clients including the magazines Time, Oxford American and Muse, and book publishers John Wiley, Harvard University Press and Harper Collins. He has taught art privately and at Duke School for Children and makes fine art when he can, exhibiting locally.


Scientists' Nightstand Editor

Dianne Timblin

View a list of Dianne's work

Dianne Timblin

Twitter: DianneTimblin








Senior Writer

Brian Hayes

View a list of Brian's work

Brian Hayes Brian Hayes has been writing the “Computing Science” column in American Scientist since 1993. Earlier he wrote columns on similar themes for Scientific American, Computer Language, and The Sciences. His work has appeared in a number of other publications, including The American Scholar,  Discover, Natural History, and The New York Times Book Review, as well as anthologies such as The Norton Reader, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best Writing on Mathematics. His book Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape was published in 2005 by W. W. Norton. A selection of his columns, titled Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions, was published by Hill and Wang in 2008. He also writes about mathematics and computation at his web site: http://bit-player.org .

Hayes was an editor at Scientific American in the 1970s and 80s, and from 1990 to 1992 he served as editor of American Scientist. He has been journalist in residence at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, and has made extended visits to the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. Since 2010 he has been an associate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.


Contributing Editors

Marla Broadfoot

View a list of Marla's work

Marla Broadfoot Marla Vacek Broadfoot is a freelance science writer and editor who has published over 250 articles about biomedical research. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a board member of the Science Communicators of North Carolina. Marla is the author of A Place at the Bench: Women in Biomedical Research, a publication of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund that explores the unique challenges faced by women in science. Her work has been published by the Raleigh News & Observer and Charlotte Observer, American Scientist, Science News, the Mayo Clinic, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Science’s Next Wave, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University. From 2006 to 2007, she served as a senior public relations specialist at the Duke University Medical Center News Office, covering topics ranging from blind fungus to lung cancer diagnostics. Before becoming a writer, Marla was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute and was awarded board certification in clinical molecular genetics by the American College of Medical Genetics in 2005. She received her PhD in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003.

 Twitter: @MvBroadfoot


Catherine Clabby

View a list of Catherine's work

Catherine Clabby In addition to her work with American Scientist, Catherine Clabby is senior editor of E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth, the digital biology textbook. A former Knight Science Journalism Program fellow at MIT, she is also an independent science editor and writer. In a previous chapter, Catherine worked as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut, New York and North Carolina, most recently as a science reporter covering the research triangle region for the Raleigh News & Observer.

 Twitter: @CathyClabby




Contributing Editors (Not Pictured)

Anna Lena Phillips

View a list of Anna's work

Anna, a contributing editor of American Scientist , is editor of Ecotone, the award-winning literary magazine that seeks to re-imagine place, and of its sister imprint, Lookout Books. She teaches in the creative writing department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is the author of A Pocket Book of Forms, a travel-sized, fine-press guide to poetic forms. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in venues including Open Letters Monthly, Redux, International Poetry Review, the Southern Poetry Anthology, and the Journal of Chemical and Engineering News. She has been selected for residencies at the Rensing Center, Penland School of Crafts, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Before joining UNCW in 2013, she served as senior editor and book review editor at American Scientist. Her work can be found at todointhenewyear.net.

David Schoonmaker

View a list of David's work

David Schoonmaker, a former editor of American Scientist, is a freelance writer and editor.

Michael Szpir

View a list of Michael's work

Michael is a contributing editor to the magazine.

Laura Poole

Laura is a contributing editor to the magazine.



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