August 2021 update: I’m the new space writer at WIRED magazine!
I’m Ramin Skibba (@raminskibba on Twitter), an astrophysicist turned science writer and freelance journalist based in San Diego. I write for a whole bunch of magazines, newspapers, and online news outlets, including The Atlantic, Washington Post, National Geographic, Newsweek, Slate, Nature, Wired, Undark, Scientific American, Science, Smithsonian, Aeon, New Scientist, Quanta, FiveThirtyEight, The Hill, San Jose Mercury News, and San Francisco Chronicle.
I’m also on the board of the San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA), and I was the president in 2018-2020.
Lots of my writing revolves around astronomy, physics and space exploration, and I’ve been writing about many other things too, including environmental, social, and earth sciences as well as intersections between science, politics, and society. If you’re interested in those kinds of things, you should sign up for my new newsletter, Ramin’s Space! (And you can read earlier 2018-2020 archives of the newsletter here.)
If you’d like to see the articles and stories I’ve been publishing lately, go to the Articles & Writings page and check them out. I’ll be adding some sample pieces on this site as well.
I often provide advice for freelancers and newbies wanting to start freelance writing. Starting in 2020, I’ll likely charge a $50-per-hour consulting fee, which is a pretty standard rate. After all, an important lesson for new freelancers is that time really is money.
I launched my own fledgling freelance writing career in January 2017. Through the summer and fall of 2016, I had a great time completing a six-month full-time internship with Nature magazine. Before that, I enjoyed the challenging science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While I was there, I also worked on part-time internships with Stanford news, the Monterey Herald newspaper, and Inside Science.
For fun, I’m into many kinds of music, playing the violin, swing dancing, downhill skiing, reading fiction and nonfiction, traveling, hiking, biking, and drinking tea and beer (though not at the same time). But now I really spend most of my time playing with my kid.
For those of you wondering about my back story, I used to be an astrophysicist. Up until summer 2015, I worked as a research scientist and lecturer at University of California, San Diego. Before I moved to San Diego, I worked at the University of Arizona in Tucson and before that I worked at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany (which is where I also picked up the swing dancing). I earned my Ph.D. in Physics & Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and I earned a B.S. in Physics and B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. I’m half-Iranian and I grew up in Denver, Colorado (where I learned to ski).
I’m at a time where I’m up for trying new things. If you’ve got a science writing, communication, public speaking, or outreach-related project you’re working on and you think I might be able to help or play a role, let me know—maybe I can.
A famous economist and sociologist once said, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” In my own small ways, I will try to do both.
Feel free to contact me via email (raminskibba[at]gmail.com) or telephone (+1-520-306-8158).