A Little About George Musser

 

I’m a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine in New York, where I focus on fundamental physics and space science. My reporting has been recognized by the 2011 Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics and the 2010 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the American Astronomical Society. Articles I’ve solicited and edited have appeared in The Best American Science Writing and The Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies. I was the originator and one of the lead editors for the single-topic issue “A Matter of Time” in September 2002, which won a National Magazine Award for editorial excellence, and I coordinated the single-topic issue “Crossroads for Planet Earth” in September 2005, which won a Global Media Award from the Population Institute and was a National Magazine Award finalist. The magazine also received a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2011.


I did my undergraduate studies in electrical engineering and mathematics at Brown University and my graduate studies in planetary science at Cornell University, where I was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. My thesis work, done with Steve Squyres (latterly of Mars rover fame), modeled mantle convection on Venus in order to explain broad plateaus mapped by NASA’s Magellan orbiter. I am a member of the Foundational Questions Institute.


I’d long done journalism as a hobby, writing on topics ranging from architecture to crack cocaine, and it occurred to me fairly late in my graduate studies that I might merge this sideline with my central interest in science. From 1994 to 1998, I served as editor of Mercury magazine and of The Universe in the Classroom tutorial series at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a science-education nonprofit based in San Francisco. During my tenure there, I expanded and revamped both publications. The San Francisco Examiner called Mercury “the most exciting and thought-provoking astronomy magazine for several light-years around.”


I’ve appeared at TEDx and on the Today show, CNN (here and here), NPR, BBC Radio 5, WTOP radio, the Ron Reagan show, and local TV stations in New York and San Francisco, but as a writer, I’m even happier to have been cited on “A Word a Day” and “Language Log” and been quoted twice in the Oxford English Dictionary.


To contact me, click here for an email form (which screens out spam).