Meet the Team

Keplersche Nachrichten, the official eNewspaper of the XXX IAU General Assembly, is produced by a small team of writers, editors, graphic designers, photographers, bloggers, podcasters, live-streamers, computer programmers, website developers and social media experts with 160 years of combined experience communicating science in print, electronic and broadcast media. True to the spirit of the IAU, even though there are only eight of us, we represent five different countries: Austria, Canada, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Now, if you do the math, you’ll realize that the number of occupational skills in the first sentence exceeds the number of newspaper staffers in the second. Indeed, we all wear many hats, which is why National Organizing Committee chair Gerhard Hensler (University of Vienna, Austria) invited us to work on the publication. Three of us have worked on IAU General Assembly newspapers before, so we know what we’ve gotten ourselves into, and all of us are thrilled to be in Vienna to work on Keplersche Nachrichten!

Meet Our Staff

PAMELA L GAY is a writer, streamer and astronomer best known as co-host of the Astronomy Cast podcast. She is the Director of Technology and Citizen Science at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and can be found tweeting as starstryder.

Managing Editor
SARAH REED is the Communications Manager at the International Centre for Life, a science village in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She is the former International Outreach Coordinator for the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach and, prior to that, was a science journalist.

MARIA PFLUG-HOFMAYR is a Vienna-based graphic designer. From 1997 to 2005 she worked at the Austrian space magazine Star Observer. Since 2007 she has translated the NASA website “Astronomy Picture of the Day” into German:



RICK FIENBERG is Press Officer of the American Astronomical Society; former Editor in Chief of Sky & Telescope magazine; incoming President of IAU Commission C2, Communicating Astronomy with the Public; and namesake of asteroid 9983 Rickfienberg. He led the editorial team for the XXIX IAU GA newspaper in 2015.

NANCY GRAZIANO is a technical writer by day as well as webmaster for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Since 2009 she has assisted with social media for Astronomy Cast, CosmoQuest and the Weekly Space Hangout (WSH). In 2014 she founded the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, and in 2015 she became the Executive Producer for the WSH.

MIKA McKINNON is a Canadian-American field geophysicist, disaster researcher, science advisor for fiction writers/producers and irrepressibly curious science communicator. She lives on the internet can be found discussing science in all the usual places, including Twitter, Facebook and (less often) Instagram.

THILINA HEENATIGALA is a science communicator focused on engaging students and the public via new media. A native of Sri Lanka, he works with Leiden Observatory (Netherlands) as the Assistant Editor of IAU’s astroEDU. His science, travel and poetry adventures can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
DORIS VICKERS is a classical philologist and historian of science from Vienna. She’s been in science communication since 1995, mainly at Kuffner Observatory, Vienna. She’s content manager for the
UNESCO-IAU Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy and likes to tackle “ancient aliens” theories on Twitter.