Washington State University is looking for a talking cat, preferably an orange tabby, to take the role of Dr. Universe, a peripatetic science journalist who helps answer some of life’s great mysteries, like, “Who invented language?” and “What makes people ticklish?” Non-cats are also encouraged to apply. A fondness for cats is not mandatory; curiosity is.
Starting in the late 1990s, Dr. Universe has answered questions from kids around the world about science, research, and the world around us. Dr. Universe has been on a long sabbatical, but plans to return this summer with an aggressive plan to write newspaper columns, blog posts, a comic, and other vehicles, hopefully around the world.
This is a science writing job like none other. The ideal candidate will have a clever but down-to-earth writing style, a sense of humor, a willingness to tackle complicated questions that may not necessarily have ready answers, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to try various forms of storytelling. The bulk of the job will involve Dr. Universe but other duties will include writing for Washington State University’s award-winning quarterly magazine and the WSU news service.
Dr. Universe will scratch posts and answer questions in Pullman, a small college town in the heart of eastern Washington’s striking Palouse country. It is a comfortable town with a minimal commute, affordable housing, a rolling landscape, four seasons, and great outdoor recreation opportunities both here and among the lakes, forests, streams and mountains of the nearby Idaho panhandle.
Past QuestionsWhistle while you sleep!
Talk, talk, talk
Maybe we’re learning to keep our heads about us
We eat well because bees have hairs!
Not everything has a reason
Listening for worms
First you take three quarks…
The Whole World Is Breathing!
Not (quite) by air alone
How many neurons does it take…?
I want a new brain
Trouble in Bear Land