Thomas Sumner

I am a science communicator, journalist and editor in New York City. My reporting on science research and policy has appeared in outlets such as Science, Science News, The San Jose Mercury News, Live Science, FoxNews.com and Business Insider. While my background is in physics, I am spellbound by everything from smartphone-powered satellites to beaver dams. I create inviting and engaging scientific storytelling through methodical reporting.

Career

Simons FoundationMay 2017 – Present
Senior Staff Writer

Penned and coordinated press releases and articles about cutting-edge research supported by the foundation and its in-house research division, the Flatiron Institute. Press releases included the discovery of a planet-eating star, which generated 65 news articles. Supported the rapidly growing organization’s evolving communications strategy. Project managed and helped edit the foundation’s annual report. Promoted to senior staff writer in April 2020.

Science NewsJuly 2014 – May 2017
Earth Sciences Reporter

Covered the earth and environmental sciences beat for print and digital editions, scouring journals, talks and current events for original stories. Scoops consistently generated high readership and social media impact, such as a series of stories on the underestimation of methane emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ScienceJan – July 2014
News Intern

Reported on scientific research and policy for Science’s news website and print journal, such as precision electron mass measurements and genome encryption. Stories regularly featured on the front page of Reddit and Slashdot.

American Geophysical UnionJune – Dec 2013
Science Writing Intern

Wrote press releases on topics such as a lost Apollo experiment. Organized press conferences and ran social media for the AGU Fall Meeting. Generated coverage by ABC News, Wired, Science News, the Washington Post and others.

Stanford UniversityMarch – June 2013
News Service Intern

The CalifornianJan – March 2013
Science Writing Intern

American Institute of PhysicsSept – Dec 2012
Newswriting Intern, Inside Science News Service

Education

University of California, Santa Cruz2013
Science Communication Graduate Certificate

University of California, Santa Cruz2012
Physics Bachelor of Science

  • College Service Award
  • Social Justice and Community Leadership Award
  • Research assistant for NASA space weather mission
Technical Skills

AP Style, WordPress, PHP, HTML, CSS, SEO (Certified), Python, Photoshop, InDesign, Google Analytics

Professional Memberships

National Association of Science Writers (NASW), Science Writers in New York (SWINY)