Richard is a trained neuroscientist with more than a decade of research experience. He attended Harvard College, graduating with high honors in neurobiology, and received his doctorate in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University. He has studied the effects of antidepressants in fighting fruit flies, dissected the brains of flies as a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, and measured neural activity in mice as they ran on a treadmill. His work led to an improved understanding of how the cerebellum, a brain structure traditionally thought to be involved only in movement, also unexpectedly affects the brain’s auditory system.
A passion for writing led Richard to leave academia to pursue a career in science journalism. He wrote about the complexity of elephant trunks, optical illusions, the mental health benefits of reading and what a giant lily pad can teach us about building design. His work has appeared in New York Times, National Geographic, American Scientist, discover Magazine and Young scientist. He is a co-author of academic papers published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Plus One AND Journal of Community Psychology.
Richard has worked as a fact-checker for Vox podcasts, including the award-winning science podcast “Unexplainable. He was a researcher for National Geographic Brain Games: On the Road TV show and served as a communications specialist in International Arts + Mind Lab at the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute.
Richard is the president of DC Science Writers Association and co-founder of Johns Hopkins Science Policy Groupwhich advocates for evidence-based policies that advance science and protect public health.
Richard grew up in East Amherst, NY He lives in Baltimore with his partner, a medical illustrator, and in his spare time enjoys rock climbing, playing board games and spending time with their cats, Bruce and Richard (who, he quickly notes, was already named before they met.)
Richard’s first day is Monday, August 29.