What I’m working on:
I’m mostly an editor at Science, but I love to write when I can. My beat is animal rights and animal welfare, so I frequently write about things like chimpanzee research and the ethics of keeping animals like dolphins in captivity. My real passion is cats and dogs, however, and I’m always looking for an excuse to write about them for Science.
Where I work:
I’m in a pretty standard office (fortunately with a door and window) at the AAAS headquarters, an office building in the Metro Center area of Washington, DC.
I’m usually up by 7:30, then rushing to get out of the house to catch my commuter train from Baltimore to DC. I work the whole hour-long train ride, usually editing stories and scanning press releases. When I get to the office, I run a daily news meeting, then return to editing stories and scanning press releases. I also spend my morning vetting pitches, assigning stories to staff and freelancers, and generally trying to make sure all of our online stories look nice, go up on time, and keep getting assigned. The rest of my day is filled with more of the same, along with supervising interns, looking for stories of my own, and strategizing future directions for online news. I also tape a weekly podcast. Then back on the train for the commute back to Baltimore, where I typically continue working in some form. When I’m home, I try to spend some time with my kids, walk my cats, and then often turn to grading or other work for the classes I teach at Johns Hopkins.
Most productive part of my day:
I’m most productive in the morning—especially on the train, where there are minimal distractions.
Most essential ritual or habit:
A nap when I can get one.
Essential software/apps/productivity tools:
Slack, TweetDeck, Google Analytics, Google Docs
Favorite time waster/procrastination habit:
Movie news, celebrity gossip—anything to take my mind off science. I spend an inordinate amount of time on The A.V. Club.
My reading habits:
Because I spend so much of my day in transit, audio books and podcasts have become my best friends. With podcasts, it’s generally movie or entertainment related (F This Movie!, Filmspotting, WTF with Marc Maron). With audiobooks, typically fiction.
If I’m disciplined, I’m in bed by 12:30 a.m., but I’m often not disciplined. Then up around 7:30 a.m.