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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. Readers also enjoy the Scientists' Nightstand and a number of other items that cover topics in computing, engineering, public and professional issues, and reflections on the history and practice of science.

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: .

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American Scientist Staff 

Interim Editor

Corey S. Powell

CoreyPowell Corey S. Powell is the acting Editor-in-Chief 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. 

On Twitter: @coreyspowell

Managing Editor

Fenella Saunders

Fenella Saunders Fenella Saunders is the managing editor of American Scientist magazine, 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 A.B. 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 currently 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.

Senior Editor

Sandra J. Ackerman

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 ten 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 Editors

Katie L. Burke

Katie Burke Katie L. Burke is associate editor at American Scientist, a position she began in 2012. Before that, she was 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 RTP Chapter. She worked on the NSF EESE grant that SIgma Xi was awarded in 2013. Most recently, Dr. Burke 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.

Senior Writer

Brian Hayes

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,

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

Marla Broadfoot Dr. 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. Dr. Broadfoot 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, NC State University and NC 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, Dr. Broadfoot 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 Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003.

Catherine Clabby

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 News & Observer in Raleigh, NC.

Laura Poole

Anna Lena Phillips

David Schoonmaker

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

Michael Szpir

Michael is a contributing editor to the magazine.

Editorial Associate

Mia Evans

Mia Evans  Mia B. Evans is the Coordinator of Editorial Operations/Editorial Assistant/Cartoon Editor of American Scientist magazine. She has been on staff since January 2001. She began as the administrative assistant in human resources. Mia transitioned into the coordinator of editorial operations position in April 2003. She currently handles the permission requests, manages foreign usage contracts, author honoraria, royalties, creation of PDF’s for online usage, and responsible for filing 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 magazine 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 B.A. 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. She is currently studying 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 magazine. 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 magazine. In the freelance years, clients have included 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, makes fine art when he can, exhibiting locally. .

Scientists' Nightstand Editor

Dianne Timblin

Web Managing Editor

Katie-Leigh Lubinsky

Katie-Leigh Lubinsky  Katie-Leigh Lubinsky is the web managing editor for American Scientist magazine 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 the Citiwide Computer Training Center and Health 2.0 NC Triangle. Katie-Leigh graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with two bachelor’s 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. Alongside her skills in multimedia production and social media networking, she is efficient in AP style writing, graphic design, website development and design, and photography. In her spare time, Katie-Leigh loves to be outdoors, garden, play piano and visit the beach.


Jerome F. Baker

Associate Publisher

Katie Lord

Katie Lord Katie Lord is the associate publisher of American Scientist magazine and the director of development for the Society. She came to Sigma Xi in 2002 to help launch the new American Scientist website and has worn several hats in the past 11 years. Katie was previously in the publishing industry as the marketing director of the Marin Independent Journal, a daily Gannett newspaper in Marin County, California and as the director of corporate development with Knapp Communications (former publisher of Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, and Home magazines) in Los Angeles. She began her career as a research associate at The MAC Group, a former management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning in Palo Alto and then as an assistant vice president at Union Bank in its investment banking arm in Los Angeles. In addition to publishing and fundraisings, Katie is also experienced in the areas of market research & planning and mergers & acquisitions. She received her B.A. in history at Stanford University, was a Rockefeller fellow in the Public Historical Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned an M.B.A. from the Leavy School of Business at Santa Clara University. She also received an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Duke University while working at Sigma Xi.  

Advertising Manager

Jennifer Dorff

Jennifer Dorff Jennifer Dorff is the advertising and circulation manager for American Scientist. She joined Sigma Xi in 1999 and has held numerous positions. Jennifer has been involved in marketing, circulation, advertising, project management, budgeting, circulation audits, social media, and new media. She was the webmaster for Sigma Xi, managing all communication projects in which she implemented the first HTML emails, designed the new membership dues notice as well as the new membership kit. Jennifer also designed program books, managed and created advertisements, set up social media for Sigma Xi, managed a graphic designer and all print vendors. She now uses her business acumen to obtain new advertisers while maintaining existing contacts, as well as retain and expand circulation. While working at Sigma Xi, Jennifer received her M.B.A. from Meredith College. Jennifer is business-savvy as well as creative, outside of Sigma Xi she is the graphic designer/marketing liaison for a local consignment sale. She is a life member of the Girl Scouts, led a troop and has earned the highest award in scouting.

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