Shawna Williams

Shawna Williams

Shawna was an editor at The Scientist from 2017 through 2022. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Colorado College and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, she worked as a freelance editor and writer, and in the communications offices of several academic research institutions. As news director, Shawna assigned and edited news, opinion, and in-depth feature articles for the website on all aspects of the life sciences. She is based in central Washington State, and is a member of the Northwest Science Writers Association and the National Association of Science Writers.

Articles by Shawna Williams
hundred-dollar bills disintegrating
FTX Collapse Imperils Philanthropic Research Funding
Shawna Williams | Nov 15, 2022 | 2 min read
Natural science research projects were among those promised funding by the now-collapsed crypto exchange’s “effective altruism” foundations.
magic mushrooms on a while background
Psilocybin Relieves Some Treatment-Resistant Depression Cases: Trial
Shawna Williams | Nov 3, 2022 | 2 min read
The research has caveats, including side effects and a lack of durability in the benefits of a single dose.
exterior of Fred Hutch research building
Fred Hutch Receives $710 Million Gift from the Bezos Family
Shawna Williams | Oct 13, 2022 | 1 min read
The donation will fund recruitment, research facilities, clinical research, and immunotherapy research.
Svante Pääbo with a skeleton
Svante Pääbo Awarded Nobel for Paleogenomics
Shawna Williams | Oct 3, 2022 | 3 min read
The geneticist’s accomplishments include sequencing Neanderthal DNA and leading the project that identified a new species of hominin, the Denisovans.
blue-gloved hands injecting mouse with syringe
Sex of Researcher Influences Ketamine’s Effects in Mice: Study
Shawna Williams | Sep 8, 2022 | 3 min read
The findings likely have implications for animal research far beyond the study of antidepressants.
the Melbourne skyline with lake in foreground
New Australian Center Will Develop Therapies for Future Pandemics
Shawna Williams | Aug 31, 2022 | 2 min read
Launched with a $172 million philanthropic donation and funds from the state of Victoria, the Melbourne-based research institute aims to construct drug discovery platforms to speed the introduction of new therapies.
White House on sunny day
No More Paywalls on Federally Funded Research: White House
Shawna Williams | Aug 25, 2022 | 2 min read
The Biden administration will by 2026 require that all publicly funded work be deposited in designated repositories immediately on publication.
the White House on a sunny day
Biden Names National Monkeypox Response Coordinator
Shawna Williams | Aug 2, 2022 | 2 min read
FEMA official Robert Fenton and a deputy are charged with increasing access to tests, vaccines, and treatment.
a view of Washington, DC at night from across the river in Virginia
Reorganization Would Shift Responsibility for US Pandemic Response
Shawna Williams | Jul 21, 2022 | 2 min read
The Biden administration plans to elevate the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to its own division in a bid to improve the response to current and future public health emergencies, The Washington Post reports.
T. rex-like dinosaur head covered in knobby structures
The Dino That Looked T. Rex-y Long Before T. Rex 
Shawna Williams | Jul 7, 2022 | 2 min read
Fossil findings shed light on a little-known group of Cretaceous-era beasts—and indicate that the combination of a large head and diminutive arms was no evolutionary fluke.