Stephen Ornes

Freelance Writer

Stephen Ornes has been writing for Science News Explores since 2008, and his 2014 story "Where Will Lightning Strike?" won an AAAS/Kavli Gold Award. He lives in Nashville, Tenn., and he has three children, who are inventing their own language. His family has a cat, six chickens, and two rabbits, but he secretly thinks hagfish are the most fascinating animals. Stephen has written two books. One is a biography of mathematician Sophie Germain, who was born during the French Revolution. The other, which was published in 2019, features art inspired by math. Visit him online at stephenornes.com.

All Stories by Stephen Ornes

  1. Animals

    Some ecologists value parasites — and now want a plan to save them

    Parasites get a bad rap as disease-causing, unwelcome guests on other organisms. But parasites are also imperiled, and scientists don’t want to lose them.

  2. Planets

    Noises sound totally different on Mars than on Earth. Here’s why

    The Perseverance rover recorded the sound of laser pulses on Mars. Scientists used those recordings to determine the Martian speeds of sound.

  3. Tech

    Robots made of cells blur the line between creature and machine

    Scientists are using living cells and tissue as building blocks to make robots. These new machines challenge ideas about robots and life itself.

  4. Space

    Space trash could kill satellites, space stations — and astronauts

    As private companies prepare to sprinkle space with tens of thousands of satellites, experts worry about the mushrooming threat of space junk.

  5. Microbes

    Genes point to how some bacteria can gobble up electricity

    A new study shows how some microbes absorb and release electrons — a trait that may point to new fuels or ways to store energy.

  6. Animals

    A spider’s feet hold a hairy, sticky secret

    Their widespread stickiness traces to the shape of hairs on its feet, scientists now find.

  7. Tech

    Tiny swimming robots may help clean up a microplastics mess

    Big problem, tiny solution. Researchers in the Czech Republic have designed swimming robots that can help collect and break down microplastics.

  8. Planets

    The pebbled path to planets

    Small pebbles zipping through a sea of gas may give rise to mighty planets.

  9. Tech

    No animal died to make this steak

    The ribeye steak is the first of its kind, and the latest in a growing list of meats printed with a 3-D bioprinter instead of being harvested from an animal.

  10. Environment

    Unmasking the pandemic’s pollution problem

    Discarding all the materials people use to protect themselves from COVID-19 has created a growing environmental problem.

  11. Tech

    This artificial skin feels ‘ghosts’ — things you wish were there

    Engineers have developed a wearable device that simulates the sense of touch. It may benefit robotic surgery and deep-sea exploration.

  12. Tech

    Computers are changing how art is made

    Some people have challenged the idea that artificial intelligence can be creative. But new software can provide inspiration to artists or fully partner with them in the creative process.