Cora Lee

What’s more fun: science or writing? Science gives you the rush of exploring and discovering new things—but so does writing. Writing gives you the satisfaction of wrestling big ideas into easily digestible bits ... hold on ... science does, too. Well, if you can’t choose one as a lifelong profession, you can always do both. Cora writes science for a living—from SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and specifications to articles and books for kids.

Born in Ashcroft, British Columbia, Cora spent a brief six months in Cache Creek before moving to Vancouver, where she now lives with her family. Reading and drawing were early favorite pastimes. Adventure was rare in her childhood home, except in books. In-depth surveys of her father’s wall of books and frequent expeditions to the nearby library yielded books she still revisits, including The Dark is Rising, A Wrinkle in Time, L.M. Montgomery’s books, Diamond in the Window, and Banner in the Sky.

Cora studied biochemistry and biotechnology in university. As a research associate, she worked mainly with lipids (fats) and DNA, but also with some elements—gold and mercury, mostly—as a geochemical analyst. Then there was a switch to some freelance writing and editing on various topics, and a publishing certificate. She could not resist the call of science, however, and started writing both science articles for kids and technical documents for organizations and companies.

Now she spends her working hours as one half of a two-person scientific writing business aimed at the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. When she is not working or with her family, Cora volunteers for CAGIS (Canadian Association for Girls in Science), an organization that tries to get girls interested in science.

It is the ideal combination—science and writing. And children are the perfect audience, willing to accept impossible answers, and open to the most bizarre concepts that scientists can throw at them. Nothing’s too hard for kids, and Cora aims to prove it with her books on mathematics and science.