Hi. I'm Mike Schneider, senior science writer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and editor of Projects in Scientific Computing.
In this position, I interview scientists working in a wide range of areas -- molecular biology, Earth science, quantum physics and chemistry -- and write about how they use the most powerful scientific computing there is (aka "supercomputing") to help get answers to tough problems, such as global warming, predicting severe storms and tornados, how the brain works, structure and evolution of the cosmos, AIDS, cancer, heart disease.
I came to this job from the University of Pittsburgh English department, on the other side of the cultural chasm that often divides science & technology from the arts & humanities. Where am I now? Pulitzer-prize winning science writer Jon Franklin says that science writing is building bridges between scientists and the rest of us, which makes me think of Paul Simon's song, "Bridge over Troubled Water." Maybe I'm building bridges, but it often feels like I'm in the water and I'd settle for a life jacket.
Albert Einstein said this about science writing: "It is of great importance that the general public be given an opportunity to experience -- consciously and intelligently -- the efforts and results of scientific research. . . . Restricting the body of knowledge to a small group deadens the philosophical spirit of a people and leads to spiritual poverty."
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
like every sparrow falling like every grain of sand.
-- Bob Dylanmore