Field of Science


The business of my life has been writing and science. The two together have led me to my current focus of how science and writing about science take shape around the audience known as You. This blog targets that interaction, homing in frequently on autism, an area of personal interest.

My work as a research scientist has led me to many cool things, including ultrasound and surgery on a spotted hyena, plastic casting of the inside of the mammalian penis, chasing tiny blazing-fast lizards around in the desert, and innumerable activities involving gonads. My work as a writer has done the same, from stories about the black bears of Big Bend to one of my all-time favorites, a piece on zombie grasshoppers. There are hundreds of adventures in between, and I wouldn't trade in the science or the writing for anything else.

Speaking of writing, I am the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology and currently working on a book about lice. Yep,  I said "lice." I bet you're about to scratch your head right now.  The College Biology book, which mentions lice only once that I can recall, closely follows the first-year biology curriculum and is, I hope, a useful and accessible guide not so much for idiots but for people who simply need another perspective or presentation for learning biology. My book that appears in chapters on this blog, When Worlds Collide: The Troubled History of Bears and People in Texas, is available as a Kindle book on Amazon.

I have been a dedicated writer since about 1972 and practicing science since 1996. My background, as I say in cover letters, includes a bachelor's degree in English and a PhD in biological sciences, both from The University of Texas at Austin, with a completed postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco. I often--daily--combine my degrees by writing about science or editing science writing. I've also taught biology (developmental bio, physiology, genetics, general bio, physics, and chemistry) to thousands of university students in Texas and California, and language arts to a younger crowd. I've worked the health, science, and medicine news beats for a local paper and online health sites, writing hundreds of pieces, and written features for newspapers and magazines. My deep past includes serving as a PIO, writer, editor, and media campaign manager at a large state agency for four years, where we produced a 16-page tabloid newspaper for the department's 26,000 employees, and interning at Texas Monthly Magazine.

Conflict of interest statement: I have no fiscally related conflict of interest to declare relative to vaccines, pharmaceuticals, GMOs, global climate change, autism, or feminism. I fully and completely declare that my sole interest is presenting accurate, evidence-based information.

Some of my published general audience work
Laser Microdissection Systems (The Scientist)
When Panic Attacks (Backpacker)
Bear Signs in Big Bend (Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine)
The Facts about HPV (Round Rock Leader)
Of Mice and Men (Hantavirus) (Backpacker)
A Horse's Tail (Biology Digest)

Contact me
You can reach me at ejwillingham (a t) g mail d ot com.

I do have a personal life
And I once blogged about it here, at A Life Less Ordinary. Everything you wanted to know...or couldn't care less about autism, parenting, special needs, general grousiness, and the occasional sciencey breakdown.