Catherine Offord

Catherine Offord

After undergraduate research with spiders at the University of Oxford and graduate research with ants at Princeton University, Catherine left arthropods and academia to become a science writer. She has worked in various guises at The Scientist, starting as an intern in early 2016 before becoming a correspondent. As associate editor, she now writes articles for the online and print publications, and edits the magazine’s Notebook, Careers, and Bio Business sections.

Articles by Catherine Offord
Jean Macnamara’s Multiple Causes, 1931
Jean Macnamara’s Multiple Causes, 1931
Catherine Offord | Jul 13, 2020
The medical scientist made important contributions to polio treatment and Australian environmental policy—despite substantial resistance.
Infographic: What Social Isolation Can Mean for the Brain
Infographic: What Social Isolation Can Mean for the Brain
Catherine Offord | Jul 13, 2020
People who show low social engagement over long periods of time often show reductions in cognitive function. Studies of the brain may provide clues about this correlation.
How Social Isolation Affects the Brain
How Social Isolation Affects the Brain
Catherine Offord | Jul 13, 2020
Absence of human contact is associated with declines in cognitive function. But as the COVID-19 pandemic brings concerns about the potential harms of isolation to the fore, researchers are still hunting for concrete evidence of a causal role as well as possible mechanisms.
Italian Institute Revokes Appointment of Cancer Researcher
Italian Institute Revokes Appointment of Cancer Researcher
Catherine Offord | Jul 7, 2020
Pier Paolo Pandolfi left Harvard University last year following allegations of sexual harassment, and has since been accused of research misconduct.
Acceleration in New COVID-19 Cases in Some US States Causes Alarm
Acceleration in New COVID-19 Cases in Some US States Causes Alarm
Catherine Offord | Jun 23, 2020
Arizona, Florida, California, and others have seen record numbers of daily new coronavirus positives in the last couple of weeks, and that’s not just a reflection of more testing. Hospitalizations are up too.
Special Report
Surgisphere Sows Confusion About Another Unproven COVID-19 Drug
Surgisphere Sows Confusion About Another Unproven COVID-19 Drug
Catherine Offord | Jun 16, 2020
The company behind a now-discredited study on hydroxychloroquine also posted a report that has been cited by Latin American governments recommending ivermectin as a possible coronavirus treatment. Clinicians there say the effects have been extremely damaging.
Surgisphere Fallout Hits African Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Efforts
Surgisphere Fallout Hits African Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Efforts
Catherine Offord | Jun 7, 2020
The company had helped develop a tool to aid decision-making in distributing limited medical equipment among coronavirus patients, but two high-profile retractions call into question the validity of Surgisphere’s work in toto.
<em>Lancet, NEJM </em>Retract Surgisphere Studies on COVID-19 Patients
Lancet, NEJM Retract Surgisphere Studies on COVID-19 Patients
Catherine Offord | Jun 4, 2020
All authors other than company founder and CEO Sapan Desai were “unable to complete an independent audit of the data,” The Lancet states.
Concerns Build Over Surgisphere&rsquo;s COVID-19 Dataset
Concerns Build Over Surgisphere’s COVID-19 Dataset
Catherine Offord | Jun 2, 2020
NEJM and The Lancet issue expressions of concern as researchers question where the company got its data on thousands of coronavirus patients.
Confronting a Pandemic, 1957
Confronting a Pandemic, 1957
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2020
Microbiologist Maurice Hilleman foresaw the global spread of a novel influenza strain in 1957. His vaccine saved hundreds of thousands of lives.