Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blogging the big books

Hi everyone, I'm Stephen Ornes. I'm an NASW Travel Fellow this year, and I'll be blogging on the Saturday afternoon session titled "Great science writing II: Building the big book." I always get a kick out of Jennifer Ouellette's blog, "Cocktail Party Physics," and I'm looking forward to hearing her talk about moving from blogger to book author. I'm also looking forward to hearing prolific freelancer Carl Zimmer, who seems to have an infinite supply of illuminating turns of phrase and new ideas. (I'm looking forward to hearing from all of the authors, but I come across these two more often than most.)

I'm a freelancer based in Nashville. Until a year ago I lived in New Haven, and this conference will be a welcome chance to revisit old haunts and see old friends. Carl Zimmer has organized a pre-conference get-together at Yale's Beineke Library on Friday night, and I encourage everyone to go. If not for the company, then for the building itself. It's breathtaking: The walls are made of thinly-sliced marble that infuses the whole space with a calming glow, and in the middle is a glass tower full of books, books, books.

I'm a 2006 graduate of the MIT program in science writing, and I've been freelancing ever since. I've written for a wide range of outlets on a wide range of topics, though most of my articles are about astronomy, mathematics, or cancer research. I'm also a fact-checker. This is my third NASW conference, and to celebrate I'm moderating a panel called "Get the numbers right." I've invited two top-notch speakers to talk about issues related to statistics, and I'm probably more excited than anyone about hearing them talk. I feel fortunate that both of them are able to attend.

See you at the cabaret!


  1. What time is the Zimmer event at Beineke?

  2. 4-6 pm, details here: