November 2012

Spotlight on Katharine Gammon ’07

In November, the Graduate Program in Science Writing managed to catch Kate Gammon,’07, between hosting a panel at the ScienceWriters 2012 annual meeting and her busy freelance schedule.  Kate writes for Nature, Wired, Popular Science,Technology Review, and many other outlets.  She is based in Santa Monica, California.  You can find her at or follow @kategammon on Twitter.


GPSW: You were an anthropology major in your undergraduate degree. What made you gravitate to science writing?

Kate: I’ve always been fascinated by science, and I was raised by two scientists. So even as I studied anthropology, I was always toeing the line between humanities and science – often looking at scientific questions from an anthropological view. I spent a whole summer trying to construct a picture of a whole Neanderthal lifestyle from the wear marks on a single tooth. Sometimes, writing is a similar act. And I still use the toolkit of cultural anthropology when I go into an unknown reporting situation. It sometimes helps to think about a community of scientists as an unknown tribe, and I need to quickly understand their worldview, their specific lingo, and also to evaluate group dynamics. Read more…