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From Physics Researcher to Chemistry Editor: STJR Graduate Patrice Pages

Posted July 30, 2016

Patrice_Photo5Since a young age, Patrice Pages has enjoyed learning about science and helping others to understand it. Now the STJR graduate is the editor of ChemMatters, the American Chemical Society’s magazine for high school students.

Originally Patrice, who has a doctorate in physics, thought he would continue working in scientific research. However, he came to realize that he preferred popularizing science, and so he entered the STJR program.

Patrice says he valued the mix of journalism and science classes available to STJR students. The program gave him not only the training he needed in science writing but also exposure to sciences other than physics. “I loved to challenge myself by taking science classes—such as genetics, biochemistry, and neuroscience—that were beyond my science background,” he says.

As the editor of ChemMatters, Patrice strives to ensure that the content of the articles is both accurate and interesting. He says it is both a joy and a challenge to translate technical concepts into plain English and to get readers excited about science.

For students seeking science communication careers, Patrice emphasizes that they can take various career paths. His own career is a case in point. After graduating from the STJR program in 2001, he initially worked in media relations, first at Brookhaven National Laboratory and then at the National Academies before becoming the editor of ChemMatters in 2007. Patrice says he is open to future paths that will involve other forms of science communication and different audiences.

“Science communication can take many forms, including articles in print publications or on the Web, blogs, videos or multimedia, and social media,” he says. “All of these media serve one common goal: to make science accessible to a larger audience.”

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