A few years back the science writer Chris Moody suggested we need to see scientists less as nerds and more as rock stars.
Yes, and by the same token, great science reporters too.
In that vein, here's a lovely look at David Perlman, who has been reporting on science for the San Francisco Chronicle for longer than I have been alive.
FRANCISCO — David Perlman had two deadlines on his mind as he elbowed
his way through the Exploratorium, cane in one hand, notebook in the
As the San Francisco Chronicle's veteran science writer,
Perlman has been covering the granddaddy of hands-on science museums
since it was just a glimmer of an idea in the fertile mind of physicist
Frank Oppenheimer, the "uncle of the atom bomb."
after 43 years in the elegant but drafty Palace of Fine Arts, the
museum was getting ready to close before moving to new digs on the
Embarcadero, and it was Perlman's job to chronicle the last day in its
So the first deadline was his own — 6 p.m. to make
the next day's paper with a front-page story. The second belonged to the
woman tagging along behind him.
She's "doing a story about the
oldest living reporter — me," Perlman told the amused museum staff. "She
has to be done before I die."
Science and journalism have come a long way since Perlman picked up a fountain pen and began to write.
For more of the Los Angeles Times story by Maria L. La Ganga, go here. Here's Perlman:
Overheard him pitching a story to his editors from the AGU last December. They weren't any more welcoming to his version than my editors were welcoming to me. Life in the big city.