As the managing editor, Ben oversees the news releases, news stories, feature articles, and other content that the NIST public affairs office produces for general-public audiences. He enjoys helping NIST staff communicate their research and other activities to the larger world, guiding NIST writers to produce the very best pieces they can create, and mentoring early-career public affairs specialists and communicators in all aspects of their jobs in which he has prior experience.
Ben has both a science and writing background. A native of the Bronx, he graduated in 1990 with a bachelor’s of science with honors in physics from Binghamton University. In addition to his academic studies at Binghamton, he worked as an undergraduate researcher in a condensed-matter physics lab and served as editor-in-chief of the campus journal. Thanks to a guidance counselor, Ben became aware of science writing as a career and entered New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting program, where he received a master’s in 1992.
In his career of approximately 30 years, Ben has worked at only two organizations: the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and NIST. At AIP, Ben wrote media tipsheets for many of the latest major papers in physics and created news releases and press conferences for research being presented at meetings of AIP member societies such as the American Physical Society and the Acoustical Society of America.
At NIST, Ben served as director of media relations from 2007 to 2011. From 2011 to 2015, he returned to AIP, where he went on to lead AIP’s nonprofit news service, Inside Science. The service produced news articles, blogs, and videos that were syndicated to and used by major news organizations such as the Washington Post, NBCNews.com and the Christian Science Monitor. Pew’s 2013 State of the Media Report mentioned Inside Science as one of several “new players” that were “producing content that could advance citizens’ knowledge of public issues.”
Since returning to NIST in 2015 as managing editor, some of the projects of which Ben is proudest include the NIST and the Nobel website, the SI Redefinition microsite, the NIST on a Chip microsite, and the ongoing How Do You Measure It? web series, all of which have been highly collaborative projects involving the work of many talented people.
Throughout his career, Ben has also co-written five science books for middle schoolers, and has written freelance science articles for multiple outlets including New Scientist, Popular Science, Science World, and Salon. During his time at AIP, he also helped to create and teach a science writing course for students at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Outside of work, Ben enjoys spending time with his college-age child, going long-distance running, playing piano and other keyboards, writing music, watching movies and listening to podcasts. He is a big fan of progressive rock music, board games, Star Wars and science fiction in general.