The Biggest Science Stories of 2017 #453

December 22, 2017

Should old science findings be forgot, and never brought to mind? No! For the year may be nearly over but we're going to see it out in style! This week, Bethany and Rachelle look back on some of the biggest science findings of the year with the writers of Science News Magazine. We've got colliding neutron stars, new planets, edited genes, splitting ice shelves and more!

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This episode is co-hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.


  • Emily Conover
  • Tina Saey
  • Carolyn Gramling
  • Lisa Grossman
  • Laura Sanders

Guest Bios

Emily Conover

Emily Conover is a science journalist, covering all things physics at Science News. She has previously written for the American Physical Society and Science Magazine. She got her start in science writing through a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Chicago, where she studied neutrinos.

Tina Saey

Molecular biology writer Tina Hesman Saey is a geneticist-turned-science writer who covers all things microscopic and a few too big to be viewed under a microscope. She is an honors graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she did research on tobacco plants and ethanol-producing bacteria. She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, studying microbiology and traveling. Her work on how yeast turn on and off one gene earned her a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis. Tina then rounded out her degree collection with a master’s in science journalism from Boston University. She interned at the Dallas Morning News and Science News before returning to St. Louis to cover biotechnology, genetics and medical science for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After a seven year stint as a newspaper reporter, she returned to Science News. Her work has been honored by the Endocrine Society and the Genetics Society of America.

Carolyn Gramling

Carolyn is the Earth and Climate writer at Science News. Previously she was a staff writer for Science and the editor of the In Brief section. She has a doctoral degree in marine geochemistry from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program for Oceanography, as well as bachelor’s degrees in geology and history. She moved into science writing as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow at an NPR affiliate station in Columbus, Ohio. Science writing may have lured her away from research, but she still loves writing about geology, the environment, planetary science, energy resources and, of course, oceanography.

Lisa Grossman

Lisa Grossman is the astronomy writer for Science News. Previously she was a news editor at New Scientist, where she ran the physical sciences section of the magazine for three years. Before that, she spent three years at New Scientist as a reporter, covering space, physics and astronomy. She has a degree in astronomy from Cornell University and a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz. Lisa has won the AGU David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism and the Institute of Physics/Science and Technology Facilities Council physics writing award.

Laura Sanders

Based in Corvallis, Oregon, contributing correspondent Laura Sanders reports on neuroscience and writes Growth Curve, a blog about the science of raising kids, for Science News. She earned her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied the nerve cells that compel a fruit fly to perform a dazzling mating dance. Convinced that she was missing some exciting science somewhere, Laura turned her eye toward writing about brains in all shapes and forms. She holds undergraduate degrees in creative writing and biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was a National Merit Scholar. Growth Curve, her 2012 series on consciousness and her 2013 article on the dearth of psychiatric drugs have received awards recognizing editorial excellence.

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