Katherine McAlpine


I handle web content and write about research. In the past I have been a news intern with New Scientist magazine, a reporter and web editor for the ATLAS e-News, a freelancer for publications such as Physics World, Nature News, Chemistry World, Symmetry and Discover, and a ‘rapper’ on YouTube.

Staff Work:

News Intern  2/12 - present
University of Michigan, College of Engineering; Ann Arbor, MI

  • Write articles for news section of the website, press releases, and other U-M publications
  • Help manage and improve web content for the Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

News Intern  4/10 – 10/10
New Scientist magazine; London, UK

  • Write articles for news section of the magazine and website, ranging in length from roughly 60 to 550 words
  • Find stories in research journals, blogs, and newspapers
  • Post to the blog

ATLAS e-News Writer/Webmaster  5/08 – 4/10
ATLAS Collaboration, CERN; Geneva, Switzerland, and working remotely

  • Wrote articles for the e-News (for physicists), and outreach website (for a lay audience)
  • Provided editing feedback for fellow writers
  • Updated the website on a weekly or fortnightly basis:
  • Improved technical aspects of the website, such as adding CSS and continuing the transition from HTML to PHP

US LHC Communicator  10/07 – 4/08
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, stationed at CERN; Geneva

  • Planned and accompanied visits of US journalists to CERN
  • Revised CERN press releases to highlight US contributions
  • Updated US LHC website and supervised blog:
  • Wrote articles for Fermilab Today,, and Symmetry magazine (details at

Science Writing Intern  5/07 – 9/07
American Physical Society; Washington DC, USA

  • Selected stories and explained physics research from Physical Review articles
  • Wrote for tip sheets, APS News, Physical Review Focus, and Physics Buzz blog
  • Created and edited audio and video clips

Other Experience:

Rapping Science 2006 – 2009

  • Black Hole Rap (December 2009)
  • Rare Isotope Rap (June 2009)
  • Peter Jenni rap (February 2009)
  • Internal to ATLAS, a performance by eight Collaboration Board chairs for the outgoing Spokesperson
  • Large Hadron Rap (July 2008)
  • Over 5 million views on YouTube; in science and tech, #7 most favorited and #14 most watched (all time)
  • Covered in print, web, TV and radio around the world
  • N3UROCH!P (August, 2007)
  • Spoke on the subject of science rap at the SciCom08 conference in Vienna, Austria (November 2008), COMEX3 in Michigan, USA (June 2009), and Move On! in Stockholm, Sweden (December 2009)


Education and Honors

Michigan State University  2003-2007

  • Dual Degree:  Professional Writing B.A., Physics B.A. (Honors) Alumni Distinguished Commended Scholar (MSU)
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Honors College (MSU)


  • Writing: 
    • articles, published in Discover and New Scientist in addition to the publications mentioned above.  For full list, see
    • reports, web pages and sites, slide shows, essays, lyrics
    • ability to tailor writing for a variety of different audiences
  • Coordination:
    • Peter Jenni rap – Nine Collaboration Board chairs sent me text summarizing their time working with Spokesperson Peter Jenni.

      I wrote rhyming lyrics for each of them, received revisions and feedback from the Chairs, and combined the sections into a rap that we could all agree upon. As the eight performers (one not available) were scattered around the world, I made personalized tracks for each of them to practice with independently.

      For our one rehearsal, I determined a time when all of these busy men and women were available and booked a conference room at CERN, my first time meeting many of them face-to-face.
    • Software Proficiencies:  Microsoft Office, particularly Word, Excel, and Powerpoint; Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver, some knowledge of Flash; Audacity, Windows Movie Maker
    • Languages:  HTML, CSS, French