Science News magazine
Researchers in several labs across the world are seeking to understand more about Earth’s magnetism and magnetism on other planets by creating dynamos, which mimic the earth’s inner core. In doing so, they are hoping to predict experimentally what may happen to our magnetic field, including possible flipping. Current dynamos (or almost-dynamos) are in Latvia, Germany, France, Wisconsin and Maryland. In her essay “Spinning the Core,” published in Science News magazine (available at https://www.sciencenews.org/article/spinning-core), Alexandra Witze deftly navigates between the different sites, telling the stories of several struggles and unexpected developments, while leaving the reader as interested in learning more of what the future research will reveal as the scientists themselves are.
Witze is a contributing correspondent for Nature and Science News magazines, writing news and features, primarily about the earth sciences, from her base in Boulder, Colorado. A nationally known science writer, she has won awards and top journalism prizes from the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the National Association of Science Writers. Among other places, her reporting has taken her to the North Pole, to an earthquake zone in China and to Mayan ruins in Guatemala. Between 2005 and 2010, Witze served as features editor, news editor and Washington bureau chief for Nature, the international weekly journal of science. She has also worked as a general science reporter at the Dallas Morning News in Texas and as an editor at the first Earth magazine, in Wisconsin. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology from MIT and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. With Jeff Kanipe, Witze is an author of Island on Fire, a book about the extraordinary 18th century eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki.
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