Writing

Beyond the lab bench, I am a freelance science writer covering the Earth and life sciences with a soft spot for microbes. I have written for Scientific American, Science, Eos, Science News, and more.

Learning to craft handmade scientific tools in the automated age

Rick Gerhart, a short, smiling man with a voice like the breathy rumble of a gasoline engine, numbers among the shrinking handful of master glassblowers in Los Angeles. He is 73 years old. And when he retires in September, Gerhart will leave the shop – and his legacy – to his apprentice, 28-year-old Nathan Hart.

By Elise Cutts in The California Tech

June 5, 2019

Vilcek Foundation Prize awarded to Mikhail Shapiro

Professor of Chemical Engineering Mikhail Shapiro has been named one of the 2019 recipients of the Vilcek Foundation Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, a $50,000 award recognizing exceptional early to mid-career immigrant biomedical scientists.

By Elise Cutts in Caltech News

February 4, 2019

Q&A: Creating a “Virtual Seismologist”

Interpreting the massive, often convoluted data sets that are recorded by earthquake monitoring networks is a herculean task for seismologists, but the effort involved in producing accurate analyses could significantly improve the development of reliable earthquake early-warning systems.

By Elise Cutts in Caltech News

January 3, 2019

Cracking open a cold one with the flies

Crack open a beer outside and it is a safe bet that you will soon be defending it from a few unwelcome drinking buddies. Fruit flies have a knack for appearing whenever someone opens up a can of beer or a bottle of wine, but how do they do it?

By Elise Cutts in Caltech News

November 29, 2018

Caltech awards Millikan medal to Ben Rosen

Named in honor of Robert Andrews Millikan—celebrated Nobel Prize-winning physicist and co-founder of the modern California Institute of Technology—the Millikan Medal acknowledges individuals who embody Millikan’s spirit of service to the Institute and extraordinary personal merit.

By Elise Cutts in Caltech News

October 30, 2018

From “Tycho’s Star” to Shakespeare’s Page

The late 16th century saw scientists like Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Galileo Galilei radically upset the way people understood their place in the world and in the universe. William Shakespeare, who was born a little over two decades after the death of Copernicus, lived through this transformation… but did he notice?

By Elise Cutts in Caltech News

October 26, 2018

Big T Volume 97: Discovery

See: Wonder Women, Good Trouble, Today Plus One, Live Long and Prosper, Lights Calculators Action, Orders of Magnitude, Sunfish, Ce n’est pas en Page, Spring Force, and Letter from the Editor. Contributed to writing, photography, design, and editing as Editor in Chief.

By Elise Cutts in The Big T

October 1, 2018