Author Archive | Catherine Meyers

South Pole Telescope at Night

Science Writing Retrospective

This weekend I visited one of my best friends from my undergraduate days at Harvey Mudd College.  The trip put me in a nostalgic mood, and I decided to see if I could dig up some of my school papers from those four years.  Here is a typical passage, taken from a report on telescope…

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A perfect Thanksgiving finale, Photo by: Peggy Greb

The science of a flaky crust

I love pie, both the baking and the eating of it.  I also love pumpkin, and so Thanksgiving always provide a wonderful opportunity to combine my two loves into one glorious dish. This morning, I happily pulled out my pumpkin-pie-making ingredients and started the preparation process.  I use vegetable shortening in my pie crusts.  It…

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Seymour Center Field Trip

As our first quarter as SciCom students nears its end, I realize I’ve been spending a lot of time staring at my computer screen.  This weekend, a visit from my parents provided a much needed excuse to leave the digital world and go out exploring.  Here are some photos from one of our stops, the…

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Let the sunshine in

In preparation for a spring class in investigative journalism, my classmates and I began filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests this week.  There is a certain amount of glamour in investigative journalism.  Think clandestine meetings, code names, scandals, lies, and top-level resignations.  Here are some tips on investigative journalism from Bob Woodward, a man…

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Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 9.41.27 PM

Museum Mishaps

Last night the National Association of Science Writers held a ScienceWriters2010 welcome reception in the Peabody Museum of Natural History here at Yale.  The entrance of the museum is graced with this terrific hanging squid.  From airplanes to whale bones, museums display all sorts of heavy, hanging objects.  While staring up at the squid from…

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The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts goes for a test drive in Monterey Bay. Source: MBARI (

Hurray for the Engineers!

 The otters our class saw on our field trip to Monterey Bay were awfully cute.  But I have to admit there was a piece of my former engineer’s heart that was touched, not by the furry faces, but by the antennas, radio transmitters, temperature and depth recorders, and GPS computers the scientists showed us. The sensors were…

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Ripples, waves, and swirls

I’ve always been fascinated by fluid dynamics.  A New Scientist article about how tap water hitting a sink could be used to model white holes inspired me to compile some pictures of other everyday fluid flow patterns.

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Source: HMC Spring 2010 Bulletin

How often is science distorted in the media?

You know you’re back in college when conversations start, “So, what are you studying?” But when I replied to this question at a recent dinner gathering of fellow grad students, I got an unexpected response.  I explained that I was learning how to communicate science to the general public, but a computer engineer offered this…

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The Question of Cosmetic Quote Changes

As a journalist in training, the AP Stylebook has become bedside reading for me.  While perusing its pages the other day and I came across this entry for quotations in the news: “Never alter quotations, even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage.  Casual minor tongue slips may be removed by using ellipses, but…

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