The doctor is in! While he doesn’t make us call him “Doctor Siegel,” Trapit’s new science and health editor holds a Ph.D. in theoretical cosmology. Trapit let me take a break from keeping up with the Kardashians to Skype with Ethan about his new role.
Ethan (we call him by his first name) comes to Trapit from Lewis & Clark College where he must have been the only professor on campus wearing a kilt. He joins Trapit with the intention of spreading high quality science and health information far and wide.
“Science and health is the type of vertical that needs this technology. There is a whole lot of information out there and people don’t know who to trust. These are big issues: Autism, Evolution, HIV/AIDS, the list goes on. In science, there is a right answer. Not everyone’s voice deserves equal time. My goal in joining Trapit is to vet everything and promote the legitimate sources in my traps.”
Ethan found his calling while working on his post-doc research, starting a personal science blog in January 2008.
“I felt isolated among only fellow scientists. I wanted to reach a larger audience.”
It started with a simple question: “How do you make a black hole?” The question and corresponding blog post was interesting enough to make it on Stumbleupon. A few initial hits turned into 1000 overnight, and Ethan was hooked on his newfound following. Within a year, his blog had up to 400 visits a day, which is when ScienceBlogs(owned by National Geographic) invited him to be a part of its network.
Today Ethan’s blog, “Starts with a Bang,” is among the most popular science blogs on the web. Perhaps its large following is due, in part, to Ethan’s dedication to covering the most compelling and controversial topics in the science community.
“These are topics that affect public health, safety, and people’s understanding of how things work. There is an incorrect idea on the Internet that science is ‘sometimes wrong’ or one person’s opinion is just as good as fact-based science. A scientific theory is not an opinion; a theory requires a burden of proof. I want to clarify to my readers, at the very least, the best answer we have right now. Science isn’t something that ends.”
I may be Trapit’s new Entertainment Editor, but even I can understand neutrinos when Ethan is explaining them to me. Watch him simplify the mysteries of science for the Portland’s local TV news. Thankfully, my areas of expertice, i.e. Ashton & Demi’s divorce, don’t require the same level of translation!
When he’s not fighting for good science, Ethan is collaberating with his wife Jamie to renovate an old school bus into an off-grid mobile home. Their dog, Cordelia, will be along for the ride.
Want to discover the best in science? Read Ethan’s first Trap of the Day on Vaccination.