Swarthmore College, BA with Honors.


Prize-winning reporter for 15 years for Scripps-Howard, Gannett, Crain’s, and other newspapers in New Jersey, Michigan, and Tennessee. Specializing in in-depth reporting of difficult issues, I covered education, business, taxation, labor, municipal and state governments, science, and health.


Co-author of updated “The Atom and Nucleus” for Encyclopaedia Britannica, February, 2001. With George F. Bertsch.

Co-author of "The Atom," Reprinted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica's 1990 Yearbook Of Science and the Future. With George F. Bertsch

Co-author of "Electricity and Magnetism," 30-page article in 1990+ editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica. With Edwin Kashy, physics professor at Michigan State University.

Co-author of "The Atom," 23-page article in the 1989+ editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica. This article was reprinted in the Britannica's 1990 Yearbook Of Science and the Future. With George F. Bertsch.

Rewrote physics articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, e.g., "Gravitation" and "Quantum Mechanics."

BOOK AUTHOR 1990-present


PROMETHEANS IN THE LAB: CHEMISTRY AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD. McGraw-Hill. Hardcover August 2001. $24.95. (244 pp.) ISBN: 0-07-135007-1. Paper Aug. 2002 $14.95 ISBN: 0-07-140795-2. Reviewed by Nature, Chemical & Engineering News, Isis, New Scientist, AAAS Science Books & Films,, and others. Excerpted in Chemical Heritage Foundation Magazine and ChemMatters.

NOBEL WOMEN IN SCIENCE: THEIR LIVES, STRUGGLES AND MOMENTOUS DISCOVERIES. Joseph Henry Press, National Academy of Sciences. February 2001 Second, expanded edition. $19.94 Paper.

IRON—LIFE’S UNIVERSAL ELEMENT with Dr. Eugenie Mielczarek, Professor of Physics, George Mason University. Rutgers University Press. October, 2000. $30. (205 pp.) ISBN: 0-8135-2831-3

NOBEL WOMEN IN SCIENCE: THEIR LIVES, STRUGGLES AND MOMENTOUS DISCOVERIES. Second expanded edition with new chapter. Paper. Carol: December, 1998.

NOBEL WOMEN IN SCIENCE: THEIR LIVES, STRUGGLES AND MOMENTOUS DISCOVERIES. April 1993. Carol Publishing, 600 Madison Avenue, New York 10022. See above. Hardcover $27. 350 pp. Fifth printing. Four foreign language translations. Many reviews.

TEN COLLOQUIA in the US and Europe.

University of Washington, Joint Computer Science Colloquium/​Condensed Matter Physics Seminar, Feb. 15, 1994.

Michigan State University, Physics Department Colloquium, March 1, 1994.

Ohio State University, Physics Department Colloquium. March 8, 1994.

Argonne National Laboratory, Physics Division Colloquium, Argonne IL. October, 1994.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, former Bureau of Standards), U. S. Department of Commerce. Gaithersburg, Md. March 1995.

University of Illinois, Miller Committee Endowed Lecture, sponsored jointly by 19 departments and the Physics-Astronomy Department’s Colloquium. March 6-7, 1996.

GSI (Institute for Heavy-Ion Research), Darmstadt, Germany. Oct. 23, 1996.

George Mason University, Physics Department Colloquium, Fairfax, VA. October 20, 1997.

Irons Endowed Lecture, Physics Department Colloquium, Rutgers University, Nov. 6, 2000

National Institute of Standards and Technology, (NIST) Physics Laboratory colloquium, Gaithersburg, Md., Feb. 7. 2003.

NINETEEN INVITED TALKS (At universities and professional organizations in the US and Europe).

Symposium Speaker, Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, at American Physical Society's nuclear division meeting, Monterey, CA, October 22, 1993.

Association of Women in Science (AWIS), Seattle, Oct. 27, 1993.

Diversity Conference speaker, Michigan State University, March 1, 1994.

Elizabeth Mullin Welch Lecturer, endowed lecture, University of Michigan, Center for the Education of Women, University of Michigan, March 2-3, 1994.

Symposium Speaker, Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, at American Physical Society's condensed matter division meeting, Pittsburgh, March 21, 1994.

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL. Women's History Month/​Affirmative Action Speaker. March 22, 1994.

University of Washington Bookstore featured speaker, University of Washington, March 24, 1994.

University of California at San Diego, Dean’s Conference on Women in Science. February 1995.

University of Michigan-Dearborn, Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Detroit Chapter, and Macomb Community College Science Department. Sept. 5, 1995.

Dartmouth College, Kick-off speech, Women in Science Sloane Internship Program. Oct. 1995.

Association of Women in Science, Wyoming chapter retreat. University of Wyoming, Feb. 10-11, 1996.

Leadership Synthesis, Seattle University. Feb. 16, 1996.

Argonne National Laboratory, Keynote address, Technical Women’s Symposium, Argonne’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. April 29, 1996.

Shoreline Community College, Expanding Your Horizons Conference, Seattle, WA. March 18, 1997.

Centennial American Physical Society meeting, Atlanta. March 22, 1999.

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Shell Model Conference. University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Society, Germany. June 3-5, 1999.

Keynote Address, Centennial Celebration of the University of Illinois’ Chemistry Building, when received Landmark Heritage Status from the American Chemical Society, Sept. 14, 2002.

Free University of Belgium, Brussels. April 10, 2003.

“What would Nobel Prize women in science say to Dr. [Larry] Summers?” Speaker and panel moderator, National Symposium on the Advancement of Women in Science, Harvard University, April 8-10, 2005.

German Physical Society division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, symposium on multi-photon processes dedicated to Maria Goeppert Mayer. Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt, Germany. March 13-17, 2006.


Southern Festival of the Written Word, Nashville, Oct. 10. 1993.

American Association of University Women. Long Island Chapter. Oct. 1994.

Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, annual conference for women physicians. June 2-3, 1995.

DuPont-Merck Pharmaceutical, Wilmington, Del. Nov. 8, 1996.

Michigan Science Teachers Association annual convention, March 2, 1996.

University of Illinois American Chemical Society Chapter. Champaign-Urbana, IL. May 13, 2002.

Chicago Chapter of the American Chemical Society, Chicago. Jan. 23, 2004.


"Why So Few Women? Bios of Women Scientists Provide a Partial Answer." APS News (weekly magazine of the American Physical Society) Back page column. July 1994.

“Nuclear Physics: The Year in Review.” co-author. 1995 Yearbook of Science and the Future. (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.): 403-405.

“Maria Goeppert Mayer.” History of Physics Newsletter, A Forum of the American Physical Society, Sept. 1999.

“Only 2% of Nobel Science Prizes Have Been Awarded to Women.” Times Higher Education Supplement, Dec. 21-28, 2001.

“McClintock and Marriage.” Letter to the Editor, Science 296 (5 April 2002): 47.

“Damn the Torpedoes. Full Speed Ahead. Profiles in Science.” Science 296 (3 May, 2002): 851-2.

“Noyes Laboratory, an ACS National Chemical Landmark: 100 Years of Chemistry at the University of Illinois.” ACS Bulletin of the History of Chemistry, Feb. 2003 issue.

“Noyes Laboratory named ACS National Chemical Heritage Site.” Chemical Heritage Foundation Magazine. Spring 2003.

“C.S. Wu.” Notable American Women 1976-2000. Harvard University Press. Pub. Date: 2004.

“Gertrude Belle Elion.” Notable American Women 1976-2000. Harvard University Press. Pub. Date 2004.

“Cold, hard facts refute Harvard president’s remarks.” Trenton Times May 22, 2005.

“Women who won the Nobel.” Letter to the editor, New York Times, Oct. 8, 2009.


“Maria Goeppert Mayer.” The Physics Teacher. Oct. 1995. Abridged from Nobel Prize Women in Science.

“Gertrude Belle Elion.” The Chemical Educator, March 1996. Abridged from Nobel Prize Women in Science.

“Edward Frankland’s Crusade for Clean Water.” Chemical Heritage Foundation Magazine, Feb. 2002. pp. 12-13, 28-31. /​content/​dam/​.../​gc-cleanwater-and-safe-drinking-water.pdf‎

“Barbara McClintock” chapter in The Sweet Breathing of Plants, Women Writing on the Green World. Ed., Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2001. pp. 157-180.


Review of “Naomi Pasachoff. Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity.” ISIS 91 (March 2000): 179-180.

Review of “A Woman’s Place: Outer Space.” Discover Magazine. March 2004.

Review of “From the Periodic Table to Production: The Life of Thomas Midgley, Jr.” by Thomas Midgley IV. Ambix 50 2003.


Skeptically Speaking, March 19, 2010.

BBC Radio 4, on Clair Patterson: Scourge of the Lead Industry.” May 29, 2008.

BBC Radio 4, on Thomas Midgley Jr., One hour, Jan. 10, 2007. Produced by Square Dog Radio. Jan. 10, 2007.

National Public Radio panelist on Talk of the Nation. An hour on July 30, 1994.

NPR at University of Illinois twice.

NPR in Michigan.

King-Radio in Seattle. 1993.

PBS Charley Rose Show Oct. 13, 1993 featured Nobel Prize Women in Science.


“Nobel Nonsense: Sexism and Science.” profile by Pulitzer-Prize winner William Dietrich. Seattle Times April 27, 1993. pp. G1, 2.

“Brave, Bravissime.” Famiglia Cristiana (at the time Italy’s largest circulation magazine). By Ida Molinari. Dec. 15, 1993. pp. 56-61).

“Why So Few?” by Evelyn Hess. Swarthmore College Bulletin. Feb. 1994. pp. 8-12, 61.

“A Career in Science Writing.” Profile. In Illuminations, magazine of Roland Park Country School, Baltimore. Fall 2003.


The National Academy of Sciences gave the Empress of Japan an official gift copy of Nobel Prize Women in Science, June 1994.

Two Governor’s Writers Award from the Washington Commission for the Humanities and the Washington State Library. For Nobel Prize Women in Science and for Prometheans in the Lab. 1995 and 2002.

University of California at Los Angeles organizes two new courses, one for science majors and one for non-science majors, based on Nobel Prize Women in Science, 1995.

Named an American Chemical Society Tour Speaker by ACS speakers’ bureau. Oct. 2002.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: Authors Guild; Northwest Science Writers Association.

Selected Works

The non-mathematical story of the fight over Bayes' rule and its ultimate triumph.

"A rollicking tale of the triumph of a powerful mathematical tool."
"If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be." John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review.
Editor's Choice, New York Times Book Review.
Biographies of 15 women scientists who won a Nobel Prize—or came very close.

“Spellbinding, compelling.”
—The Science Teacher
Biographies of nine chemists whose discoveries solved serious social and technological problems.

“A compelling read… fascinating.”

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