FOJBI Friday: Meet Kimberly McCoy, The Traveling Scientist

FOJBI Kimberly McCoy (Courtesy of Kimberly McCoy)closemore
FOJBI Kimberly McCoy (Courtesy of Kimberly McCoy)

The "Friends of Joe's Big Idea" is a vibrant community of talented people we think you should meet. With our new feature, FOJBI Friday, we're introducing some of these cool communicators of science, in their own words. This week: Kimberly McCoy.


I am a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University studying bio-inspired nanomaterials. Using a nanometer-size protein cage as either a vesicle to encapsulate catalytic cargo or as a building block for creating biologically based crystals, I explore ways to create functional, biodegradable materials.

Passion For Science Communication

I think science communication is essential as science becomes more sophisticated. If we are to move forward as a society, it is imperative that we learn how to transfer the amazing discoveries of scientists to the general public. While it is ultimately the responsibility of citizens to become educated on current issues, scientists have a responsibility to make the topics as accessible as possible.

Current Projects

I am currently contributing to Indiana University's new science blog called ScIU: Conversations in Science at Indiana University, which is set to launch this fall. A blog run by graduate students, the initiative aims to be informative and professional, as well as accessible to nonspecialists and nonscientists.

I also have a personal blog called The Traveling Scientist, dedicated to my achievements and struggles in graduate school. The project started as I explored the areas I ventured to on research-related trips. I extended the idea of traveling through space to traveling through both space and time as I work toward a Ph.D. Topics include a California conference and the beach, visiting Joe Palca at the NPR headquarters, as well as moving across the country with my research adviser — halfway through my doctorate program.

Future Plans

After obtaining my doctorate degree in the spring of 2017, I intend to hold a postdoctoral position in a related field (bio/materials chemistry). I plan to keep blogging throughout my research career, and contribute as a freelance writer to science publications that aim to communicate scientific findings to nonscientists. I also have an interest in pedagogy. I have received a teaching fellowship at Indiana University for the fall term of 2016 and hope to incorporate teaching in my career path.

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