FOJBI Friday: Meg Rosenburg, The Animated Scientist Joe Palca is not the only fan of "Big Ideas" in science. Meg Rosenburg uses animations and videos to bring complex topics alive.
NPR logo FOJBI Friday: Meg Rosenburg, The Animated Scientist

FOJBI Friday: Meg Rosenburg, The Animated Scientist

FOJBI Meg Rosenburg Courtesy of Meg Rosenburg hide caption

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Courtesy of Meg Rosenburg

FOJBI Meg Rosenburg

Courtesy of Meg Rosenburg

The "Friends of Joe's Big Idea" is a vibrant community of talented people we think you should meet. Our feature FOJBI Friday introduces some of these cool communicators of science in their own words. This week: Meg Rosenburg.


I am a freelance science communicator and digital producer living in Somerville, Mass., with a background in planetary science and the history of science. I specialize in animation, videos, and podcasts that unpack complex topics for broad audiences.

Importance of Science Communication

Science is sometimes placed on a pedestal, but it really breaks down into a series of day-to-day tasks that are within anyone's reach. And I think it's really important to instill that confidence in the public through science communication that's engaging. I first got into this field as a doctoral student, when I realized that one of my favorite things about being a scientist is that flash of insight you get when things click into place and make sense. As a science communicator, I get to have that feeling all the time and (if I'm doing it right) to share it with others.

Current Projects

I always have a variety of projects I'm working on, which keeps me on my toes. I regularly host a physics podcast for the American Physical Society. I've collaborated with science YouTubers at PHD Comics, MinuteEarth, Socratica, and Veritasium, and I've partnered with many university departments and NASA missions to tease apart complicated concepts. I think animation in particular is a very powerful tool for science communication, because it allows you to represent information in the abstract and with a lot of creative freedom.

In addition to my freelance work, I'm currently contributing to a NASA History monograph on near-Earth objects, and pursuing my own historical research on the moon, and on interpretations of impact craters across the solar system. I'm also planning to spend time on a couple of science/theater crossover projects in the near future, and I have a few animations waiting in the wings that I can't wait to share.