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Adam Cole

Adam Cole is a reporter and producer for the Science Desk, where he creates short documentary videos, radio pieces, animations, musical podcast segments, data visualizations, and GIFs about science. In 2014, Cole launched Skunk Bear, a visual science blog and YouTube channel that has built a robust audience on social media: Skunk Bear's videos have been viewed more than 9 million times.

Cole came to NPR as an editorial intern for the Science Desk in January 2011, and was then hired to stay on as a production assistant from 2011 to 2012.

He got his start in journalism at The Ferndale Enterprise, a small but mighty local weekly paper in Northern California. Before that, he worked as a research scientist, studying the genetics of pancreatic cancer and the physics of mussel beds.

Cole has won and been nominated for various awards, including Webbys and Vimeo awards, WHNPA awards for Multimedia Feature and Multimedia Linear Storytelling, a second place Best of Photojournalism 2015 award, a first place National Association of Black Journalists Salute To Excellence 2014 award for Digital Media: Feature Story, two Best American Infographics awards, and an EPPY award.

He currently serves as an instructor with Johns Hopkins University's Master of Arts in Science Writing program.

Cole received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and a Master of Science in Biology from Stanford University.

NPR's YouTube channel, Skunk Bear, answers your science questions. This week, we picked one in honor of David Bowie.

This winter brings the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, full of familiar costumes, familiar villains, and the familiar "pew pew pew" of space guns. But you can skip the movie theatre and still hear those iconic blaster sounds if you visit a frozen lake.

Grant Ernhart works with the U.S. Biathlon Team, so he spends a lot of time among snow-capped mountains. From the Canadian Rockies, he lobbed a question to Skunk Bear, NPR's science YouTube channel.

The Amorphophallus titanum is a striking plant even before you get close enough to smell it. Its scientific name means giant, misshapen phallus and it is not hard to see why. A giant column called a spadix rises 7 feet into the air from the center of a pleated funnel.

The latest episode of the podcast Invisibilia explores the idea that personality — something a lot of us think of as immutable — can change over time.

At the end of 2013, snowy owls started showing up far south of their usual winter range. The big white birds were reported in South Carolina, Georgia, even Florida.

Dave Brinker, an ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, had never seen anything like it.

Finding success in science requires smarts, determination — and sometimes a bit of luck. NPR's Skunk Bear created the Golden Mole Award For Accidental Brilliance to celebrate that last part.

Author Isaac Asimov once wrote, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny ... ' "

Good scientists search for the significance of surprises, coincidences and mistakes. With a little curiosity and perseverance, they can turn unexpected incidents into new insights.

The history of science is full of happy accidents — most folks have heard that penicillin was discovered in 1928, when a few mold spores landed on some neglected petri dishes in a London lab. But sometimes serendipity's role is a bit less ... mainstream.

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