I’m Adam Becker, an astrophysicist in Oakland, California. I help people understand the universe and other complicated things.
Right now, I’m writing a book about the sordid untold history of quantum physics, to be published by Basic Books, and supported in part by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. My book is aimed at the interested public — if you’re not a scientist, but you like reading about science and the people behind it, this book is for you. It’ll be available at English-language bookstores worldwide in 2018, thanks to Basic and to Nicholas Brealey, my UK and Commonwealth publisher.
When I’m not working on my book, I make videos and write features for the BBC. I also write for other science media outlets, like New Scientist, and I occasionally tell stories for the Story Collider podcast.
Public science communication is a large part of my work, but it’s not everything I do. I’m also the managing editor of the Open Journal of Astrophysics, a new open-access astrophysics research journal that will officially open its doors later in 2017. And I’m a visiting scholar at the Office for History of Science and Technology at UC Berkeley.
I used to work at the Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open-access scientific publisher. I was a researcher in the Labs division, where I developed new tools to change the way scientific research results are shared. Before PLOS, I was at New Scientist magazine, where I designed and coded several interactive features for their website. I also wrote about new developments in physics, astronomy, and other areas of science and technology.
I earned a PhD in computational cosmology from the University of Michigan, where I worked with Dragan Huterer in the Physics Department. My thesis was on primordial non-Gaussianity, which is a fancy way of saying that I was trying to find out how much we can learn about the way stuff was arranged in the early universe by looking at the way stuff is arranged in the universe right now. While I was in graduate school, I had some adventures you might enjoy hearing about.