Cara Santa Maria

journalist, science communicator, television personality, author, and podcaster

Cara Louise Santa Maria (born October 19, 1983) is an American science communicator.

Cara Santa Maria in 2018


  • I was lucky to have a handful of strong female and Latina professors. I could see myself in their shoes. It’s so important that we have strong multiethnic women representing science in the media. If kids can’t see themselves in that role, they’re not going to think that’s for them.
  • I think that sometimes we make mistakes with early STEM education; we teach it as if it’s a series of facts. Learn this fact, learn that fact, shove it down people’s throats—instead of helping people understand that science is a method and it’s a process. Once you understand some of the interesting rules about that method and process, you can apply it to everything and anything, and it sheds new light on every single experience you have.
  • In becoming a bit more introspective as human beings I think we’re improving our relationship not only with ourselves but everyone else on this planet.

Interview with Scientific America (2012)

  • Any time I write a piece or produce a new video, I find myself answering challenging questions and having exciting conversations with the commenters on my posts.
  • I am a scientist and educator first. I strive to promote rational, skeptical, evidence-based thought and to improve scientific literacy with every word I write and every conversation I have.
  • Without a rigorous materials and methods and results section, however, the author hasn’t really earned the right to speculate on its implications, no?...pseudoscience, junk science, and anti-science are vastly different from views that use scientific fundamentals to challenge the status-quo.
  • Our editorial mission is to inform readers, but also to engage them with the awe and beauty of the natural world.
  • Almost any topic can be described in such a way that it connects with a personal interest or emotion of a reader. I am lucky enough to be able to produce a video series, Talk Nerdy To Me, where I attempt to do just that. I discuss topics—sometimes ones that are in the news, and sometimes ones that are evergreen in nature—in a way that invites my viewers to start their own conversations around the dinner table or water cooler. I think it’s important to break down complex scientific ideas, or translate them, without dumbing down the content.
  • If we can hook a front page reader who’s perusing an article about the race for the republican nomination, the Golden Globes, or even the NFL playoffs with a snappy title and then deliver on that promise of offering an eye-opening perspective on the way the universe works, I think we’ve done what we all want to do: make a small step toward increasing the scientific literacy of the public at large.
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