Before he became a science editor at Wired magazine or even a KSJ fellow, Adam Rogers was correspondent at Newsweek‘s DC news bureau. He’d been there for almost a decade, writing about a mix of news, technology, and politics. However, that meant spending relatively little time learning and writing about science.
The thing he remembers most during his fellowship was the amount of reading he did. Rogers would peruse the shelves of Boston and Cambridge’s independent bookstores, pick up just about anything that looked interesting and read until late into the night. “I was rediscovering what was great about trying to understand science and trying to understand the universe,” he said.
Favorite recurring topics that kept coming up in both his reading and the classes and lectures he attended included urban ecology, city planning, and the neuroscience of how we see color. That last one paid unexpected dividends this past March when a poorly lit photo of a certain black-and-blue dress captured the entire internet’s attention. “The reason I was able to write [the Wired blog post on “The Dress”] so quickly was because I had been studying color visualization,” Rogers said. “In that case, it ended up being more useful than I could have predicted.”
Rogers first found out that Wired was looking for a new editor, specifically one who could wrangle stories on scientific topics, during his KSJ fellowship. It turned out to be a perfect fit. Wired liked the fact that he had spent time on the ground at MIT, one of the world’s biggest hubs for scientific research.
These days Rogers’ workload includes editing both for Wired’s print edition and its online science section. Of Wired’s online science coverage he says, “It’s never done. It’s insatiable. So if I want to write, I write.” (…And no, you cannot have his job.)