Lori Ann White: Making what goes on at SLAC intelligible for the rest of us

by Linda Hubbard on June 9, 2011

Lori Ann White has been a science writer for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for just a year, but she’s convinced of one thing – it’s a dream job.

“I’ve been a science geek for a long time,” she said, “and made a living as a technical writer for mainly software and then a few hardware companies. I’ve always written a little science fiction and fantasy on the side.”

When she decided to get out of tech writing, she started to reeducate herself, as she’d long regretted  majoring in English in college rather than getting a science degree of some sort. She enrolled at San Francisco State and completed most of what was necessary to obtain a degree in physics.

“My husband and I had also taken some Stanford continuing ed classes,” she said. “One physics class was taught by Leonard Susskind. He’d get up and talk about wonky stuff. It was wonderful listening to a physicist and learning how he thought.”

SLAC covers a great sprawl of hilltop land just south of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. The linear accelerator extends for miles and can be seen driving along 280.

Lori covers a range of topics for SLAC Today, a five-day-a-week newsletter, but what she enjoys most are the people profiles. “People have great tales, and you can display a sense of humor in the stories about them. It’s a great combination of human interest and science!”

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