David Corcoran

David Corcoran

The New York Times

David Corcoran is the editor of Science Times, The New York Times’s weekly science section. He joined The Times in 1988 and has worked in a variety of positions, including education editor and deputy Op-Ed editor. He came to The Times after a 19-year career at The Record in North Jersey, where he was editor of the editorial pages. In 1976-77 he was a journalism fellow at Stanford University. As a writer, he reviewed restaurants in New Jersey from 2000 to 2010 for the Sunday Times. His poetry has been published in Podium and Barrow Street.

Science Times guidelines for freelancers (from David Corcoran):
Unfortunately, opportunities for new freelancers are quite limited. Most material in the section
comes from staff writers or regular contributors. We do look at articles and essays on spec, and
we make very occasional assignments for news features that catch our eye.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
• The article should be newsy and timely. It should tell readers something they don’t already
know, and within the first few paragraphs it should answer the question “Why are you telling
me this now?”
• Topics can range widely over science and health, but bear in mind that important news
developments, including major findings reported in science and medical journals, are likely to
be covered by our staff writers. The best outside articles are those that make a reader (in this
case an editor) sit up and take notice, by calling attention to a surprising or underreported
development or trend.
• Articles generally run 500 to 1,500 words. Science Times pays $1 a word on publication.
Queries or pitches (one at a time, please) should run no more than 300 words.
• The pitch or cover letter should indicate whether the news has already been reported — in
The Times, the mainstream press (including Web sites, TV and radio) or scientific journals. A yes
answer does not necessarily mean we’re not interested, but we need to know what kind of
exposure the story has had.

Queries and finished articles on medicine and health should be sent by e-mail to Mike Mason at
On other science topics, to David Corcoran at corcoran@nytimes.com.


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