I’m Adam Becker, an astrophysicist in Oakland, California. I help people understand the universe and other complicated things.
Specifically, I do freelance and consulting work in science communication, open science publishing, data analysis and visualization, and astrophysics research software development.
These days, I have two big projects occupying my time. I’m writing a book about the sordid untold history of quantum physics, to be published in early 2018 by Basic Books. And I’m the managing editor of the Open Journal of Astrophysics, a new open-access astrophysics research journal. I also have a variety of side projects, most notably writing features and making videos with the BBC.
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 which you might enjoy hearing about.