Maggie Koerth

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Maggie Koerth
Kansas, United States
  • Author
  • blogger
Notable works
  • Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us

Maggie Koerth (born 1981), formerly known as Maggie Koerth-Baker, is an American science journalist. She is a senior science editor at FiveThirtyEight and was previously a science editor at Boing Boing and a monthly columnist for The New York Times Magazine. Koerth is the author of the 2012 book Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us.


Born in Kansas, Koerth lived in Minneapolis with her husband as of 2012.[1] Koerth studied journalism and anthropology at the University of Kansas.[2]


In 2009, Koerth co-authored the book Be Amazing: Glow in the Dark, Control the Weather, Perform Your Own Surgery, Get Out of Jury Duty, Identify a Witch, Colonize a Nation, Impress a Girl, Make a Zombie, Start Your Own Religion with Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, the co-founders of Mental Floss.[3] The book was described as "a tongue-in-cheek self-improvement guide".[3] Koerth was an assistant editor at Mental Floss.[4]

She later joined Boing Boing, where she specialized in science blogging and was known for her ability to explain science coherently and understandably while keeping it interesting.[5][6] A piece Koerth wrote for Boing Boing in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster explaining nuclear power plant operations was featured in the anthology The Best Science Writing Online 2012.[7]

In June 2012, Koerth suffered a miscarriage. She wrote about her experiences with the social expectations and medical regulation surrounding abortions and miscarriage in a series of blog entries.[8][9][10]

Beginning in August 2012, Koerth wrote "Eureka", a monthly column for The New York Times about research of interest to the layperson at the intersection of science, technology, and culture.[11][3][12] She has also contributed to Discover, Popular Science, New Scientist, Scientific American, and National Geographic.[13][3]

In 2012, Koerth published Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us, a book about the complexity of energy systems in the United States, the roadblocks to change, and the possibility of doing things differently.[14]

In 2016 Koerth began working for FiveThirtyEight as a senior science editor.[15]


In June 2014, Koerth was named one of two Nieman-Berkman Fellows in journalism innovation at Harvard University.[16] In 2017, she won the American Meteorological Society's Award for Distinguished Science Journalism in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences.[17]

Carl Zimmer has called her "one of the most innovative science writers at work today."[13]


  1. ^ Tom Vandyck (April 9, 2012). "Q&A with Maggie Koerth-Baker". Midwest Energy News. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  2. ^ Frank Jossi (October 10, 2012). "Q&A: Author dissects issues with the electric grid". Finance & Commerce. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Who is Maggie Koerth-Baker?". Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  4. ^ "Maggie Koerth-Baker". Society of Professional Journalists. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  5. ^ Kyle Niemeyer (April 7, 2012). "Why you should read the book Before the Lights Go Out". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Alyssa Battistoni (May 5, 2012). "Boing Boing Editor Makes Energy Policy an Illuminating Read". Mother Jones. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  7. ^ Deborah Blum (September 18, 2012). "The Best Science Writing Online 2012". Knight Science Journalism. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Koerth-Baker, Maggie. "The only good abortion is my abortion". boingboing. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  9. ^ Koerth-Baker, Maggie. "My miscarriage, my abortion". boingboing. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  10. ^ Koerth-Baker, Maggie. "I don't deserve better healthcare than you". boingboing. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  11. ^ Lindgren, Hugo. "Introducing Maggie Koerth-Baker". New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  12. ^ Chris O'Shea (August 15, 2012). "Maggie Koerth-Baker Named Monthly Columnist for New York Times Magazine". Fishbowl NY. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Piper Klemm (May 1, 2012). "Piper Promotes: BSR Spring Seminar featuring Maggie Koerth-Baker, May 2, 2012". Berkeley Science Review. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Maryn McKenna (July 15, 2012). "Superbug Summer Books: Before the Lights Go Out". Wired. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "Maggie Koerth-Baker". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  16. ^ "2015 Nieman-Berkman Fellows named". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. June 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  17. ^ AGU (25 August 2017). "Honoring Earth and Space Scientists". Retrieved 2018-03-06.

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