Sid Perkins

Freelance Writer

Sid is a freelance science journalist. He lives in Crossville, Tenn., with his wife, two dogs and three cats. He specializes in earth sciences and paleontology but often tackles topics such as astronomy, planetary science, materials science and engineering. 


In 2009, Sid won the Award for Distinguished Science Journalism in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences from the American Meteorological Society. And in 2002, he shared the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division’s Award for Popular Writing on Solar Physics. Sid’s writing also appears in Science, Nature, Scientific American, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Science News.

All Stories by Sid Perkins

  1. Physics

    An ancient plant inspires a new lab tool

    Researchers have designed a lab tool that moves liquids from one place to another by mimicking a plant called a liverwort.

  2. Animals

    The secrets of super-slurper bat tongues

    Tiny hair-like structures greatly boost the ability of some bats to slurp up nectar from flowers.

  3. Physics

    Probing the power of the winds

    Young researchers have been exploring the energy in wind to see how best they might tame it, harness it and understand its role in shaping the natural world.

  4. Earth

    Water waves can have literally seismic impacts

    Certain types of seismic waves are generated by waves on large lakes. These ground waves could be used to map fault zones or to monitor ice cover in polar lakes.

  5. Earth

    Explainer: Seismic waves come in different ‘flavors’

    Earthquakes generate several different types of seismic waves, some more damaging than others

  6. Tech

    Young challengers take a deep dive into engineering

    Thirty teens worked in teams to design, build and test remotely-operated vehicles. Their mission: to grab river sediment — and perhaps a shot at winning a major national competition.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Student invents 3-in-1 hygiene powder

    A teen who volunteers at a homeless center has developed a powdery product that can serve as dry shampoo, body powder and toothpaste.

  8. Tech

    Teen identifies way to detect failing underground pipes

    A teen researcher uses acoustics — here, pipe vibrations — to test whether buried water pipes are about to fail, and leak.

  9. Earth

    Middle-school scientists take home big prizes

    Top finalists in the 2017 Broadcom MASTERS competition shared awards worth $100,000.

  10. Materials Science

    Blue light flexes its chem-building muscle

    Scientists found a new way to build a strong but bendable blend of polymers. The trick? Expose the ingredients to a beam of blue light.

  11. Chemistry

    Explainer: What are polymers?

    Polymers, whether natural or artificial, are big molecules made by linking up smaller repeating chemical units. The most common “backbones” for polymers are chains of carbon or silicon, each of which can bond to four other atoms.

  12. Fossils

    T. rex may not have been able to run — but it was still pretty fast

    T. rex was fearsome, but its leg bones may not have been strong enough to stand the stresses of running.