- Iris Monica Vargas
- Free-lance science writer
Born in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, Iris Mónica Vargas migrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, only three and a half years ago, to complete a fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She pursued a master's degree in Physics at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, with a thesis on the synthesis of a solar-blind, radiation-hard, diamond-based ultraviolet detector. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Physics and Biology, also from the Universidad de Puerto Rico.
El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s main newspaper, and specifically, Sr. Francisco Vacas, provided her first science writing experience for a general audience. With Francisco Vacas as mentor, she wrote a bi-monthly column called “Ciencia Boricua” which was named Best New Column of the Year by colleagues at the El Nuevo Dia in 2005. Recently, she received a full scholarship to complete a second master's degree in Science Writing from MIT, with a thesis entitled "Earthlings: Humanity's Essential Relationship with Gravity."
Currently, she is completing an internship as a science writer at HarvardScience. In addition to HarvardScience, and El Nuevo Dia, she has written for MIT's Scope and ScienceNews. She is also a regular translator for [email protected].
Her mother tongue is Spanish. She learned to speak English watching movies, and she learned to write it little by little through a ten-year long letter correspondence with an American "pen pal" from California who also taught her about Broadway musicals. She is always grateful to her parents and her brother for their unconditional support, and is proud of her Barrio Bajuras, the humble neighborhood where she was raised.
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