Meet the New CAST Scientific Editor: Megan Wickham

Megan and her husband Kevin
have three dogs and two cats.

When Megan Wickham uses a recipe calling for a can of cream of mushroom soup, she prefers homemade over store-bought. The same can be said for other pre-packaged items like noodles, sauces, and gravies.

“I take a lot of pride in my cooking and making healthy delicious meals from scratch,” she says. “It’s a way for me to relax and have some fun in the kitchen and use creativity. I show my love with food by feeding others”

For her friends with food allergies, Megan meticulously tests non-traditional ingredients so allergy-friendly bakes mimic the familiar textures of the original. Right now, she is reinventing her “red, white, and blue” cookie recipe to contain a blend of gluten-free flours.

“It might end up being an almond-coconut flour base,” Megan says. “Eventually, I will get to the point where I will have a vegan gluten-free cookie that is safe for all.”

Megan’s ability to transform traditional foods into allergy-friendly eats mirrors the editing process at CAST–a role she began mid-May. Editing scientific publications requires a keen eye and critical mind, not only to spot grammatical errors but also adjust the publication’s readability for non-scientific audiences. 

The self-proclaimed “science nerd” and “jack-of-all-trades” certainly has the background to perform in this critical role. The 2015 Iowa State University graduate combined her interests in the arts and sciences by obtaining two bachelor’s degrees–one in journalism and another in geology. 

Megan went to Wyoming to
participate in the Iowa State
geology program’s field camp.

“I’ve always been interested in the Earth, its processes, and the natural world,” she says.

But the realization that she could study a scientific field with her journalism major came from an interview with Bill Nye: 

“Bill Nye came to campus for engineering week and I was working for the Iowa State Daily at the time,” Megan recalls. “We were interviewing him one-on-one and as we were talking to him, I thought, ‘this is so amazing.’ Then he gave his lecture about inspirational science and how science changes the world. And I was sitting in the lecture thinking, ‘If I don’t study a science here, I will never forgive myself.”

The experience resonated with Megan years later, which led her to apply for the position at CAST. After working for the Iowa State Daily and Ames Tribune, Megan will now contribute to the field of science communication–a vocation built from the marriage of arts and science.

The CAST staff welcomes Megan to the team!

By Kimberly Nelson

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