We are seeking a highly motivated and extremely intelligent individual to dig into the minutiae of a tiny, mostly boring problem that we have identified as vital to our business because, at our unfathomable scale, even a minuscule improvement will lead to millions of dollars in extra profit for our stock-compensated executives and investors.

Core Responsibilities

  • Quickly learn the ins and outs of your team’s small niche within the organization, knowledge that is completely useless outside the remarkably narrow world of our company’s core business.
  • Help your team accomplish its OKRs by driving KPIs such as automating key product lines, reducing FTEs, and securing offshore partnerships without stopping to consider whether our obsession with reducing your output to quantifiable, acronimified metrics is, in part, a tactic to obscure the fact that you will ultimately eliminate your own job. …


Or, all hail the pink checkmark

You may have noticed something unique on Massive’s website: pink checkmarks next to select writers’ names. When you see this mark, it means they are a Certified Science Storyteller.

Image for post
Image for post

Earning this certificate means that the author has demonstrated a consistent ability to tell accessible, meaningful and entertaining stories about science to public audiences by completing initial training and having at least two articles accepted for publication on MassiveSci.com or partner sites.

Publishing an article on Massive and our partners means the writer has created a piece that passes the high editorial bar for a professional media outlet, at least twice. Passing that bar requires an ability to identify a meaningful science story, pitch it to professional editors, write the story itself, and receive and respond to editorial and peer feedback. …


An experiment in creating a diverse, authoritative, auto-generating news source for the post-truth era.

See the Index

About

The National Consensus News Index, or NCNI, is a stable index of national and local journalists on Twitter. Inspired by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the idea is to see if collecting the tweets of a predictable group of top journalists from multiple mediums, political leanings, and geographies can, over time, generate a consensus view of the top national news stories that people from across the political spectrum can turn to and trust for authoritative information about what the nation’s top stories are at any given time.

The components were chosen in an attempt to maximize two competing goals: consensus and diversity (of mediums, political leanings, geographies, and demographics). Like the DJIA, the idea is that over time both the categories and individual components of the index will change to better reflect the American news landscape. Right now, the components are chosen by me, because I created it. If the idea takes off, I’d like to create some kind of independent, self-governing entity to maintain it. …


And “we’re just following the data” is a bad argument, anyway

This started as a Twitter thread in response to some arguments about Facebook’s responsibility for its effects on society. I’ve expanded the argument here.

Okay, you want proof that Facebook doesn’t just “show people what they want?” I’ll give it to you. It’s known as clickbait.

I worked at Upworthy, which invented clickbait. Guess what? Despite the narrative in media circles, most people liked it, by almost every conceivable measure. We have the receipts: people didn’t just click, they spent huge amounts of time with content, shared it, and came back for more. Most people didn’t feel duped or manipulated when they clicked on our stories. If they had, we would have seen it in the form of enormous bounce rates and tiny share rates. …


Warning: Some Collaboration Required

Monday morning, as news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas greeted the awakening East Coast, something almost as ugly reared its head: gross misinformation about the attack pouring out of the nastiest corners of the internet, rising straight to the top of algorithmically defined trending lists on Google, Facebook and YouTube.

For society to function well, this has to stop. I applaud the media critics, scholars, activists and politicians who are taking platforms to task and forcing them to make tough decisions (or at least release awkward statements) about their role in spreading misinformation. But I also think that relying on platforms to clean up their mess will, at minimum, take a very long time and a lot of sustained effort. …


“I can’t tell if I’m blacking out or the sun’s being blacked out.”

Image for post
Image for post
Fun fact about Allan: he has a Facebook page for himself that’s listed under “Fictional Characters” and a profile that lists himself as CEO of said Fictional Character.

This is our cofounder and CTO Allan Lasser. He’s responsible for Massive’s unique and beautiful design and branding, many of our innovative features like our scientist chat bot, and most of our post illustrations, which range from hilariously playful to beautifully abstract.

Earlier this year, Allan made what was in retrospect an implausibly convenient move to Columbia, Missouri, which put him right in the path of totality for this week’s solar eclipse. He was insufferable on video calls for weeks, talking constantly about his plans to see it, and we mostly ignored him out of jealousy. [ed. …


Say hello to the first Massive Science Cohort

Genetic engineering is one of the most fascinating corners of scientific inquiry right now. Nearly every day, I see headlines promising a future full of science fiction oddities like hyper-efficient plants that can feed the earth’s billions, designer bacteria that produce medicine or energy, and maybe even new forms of life itself.

But I come away from those articles unsatisfied. Although they cite the latest studies, promise big changes, and quote ethicists, they’re almost always focused on the most surface-level questions.

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration by Allan Lasser for “3D-printed organs could help us heal faster and live longer

At the company I cofounded, Massive, we think the best way to dive deeper is pretty simple: get scientists to do it. We’ve spent the last nine months training over 100 scientists to share their work with the public through accessible, accurate, and interesting stories. …


And how you can do the same right now

I had a clarifying chat with my father last night. He’s been observing and covering politics professionally for 40+ years. Growing up, he taught me that politics isn’t a battle and Republicans aren’t “the enemy.” The refrain was always: they want the same things, but have different ideas about getting there.

Well, that’s not the case anymore, at least right now. Today’s GOP leadership is now solely concerned with making liberals upset and winning, not with the best interests of the country.

You can’t work with that. You have to go through it (and peel off concerned conservatives as you go — I am proud of many of my conservative friends who have had the courage to do this, and know they’ll be there for me if I ever have to do the same). And going through it means one thing: getting people to vote. Let’s not forget, this country leans left, by big margins (see: popular vote). Messaging is still important. Policy is still important. But getting people to show up is what matters. …


Make them pay.

I’ll never forget the day my mom told me she had been left out to die. Before the ACA, my dad lost his job and the healthcare that came with it. Shortly thereafter, my mom, who survived breast cancer when I was five and lives with multiple sclerosis, received a letter from her insurance company telling her they wouldn’t cover her at all. At any price. She was devastated. She felt worthless. She felt that society had thrown her to the wolves for no reason. I will always remember the fear, sadness and anger in her voice on that day. She ultimately ended up on a high-risk pool, which gave her almost worthless coverage at a nearly unaffordable price, a luxury she only had because my parents saved prudently throughout their careers. Today, thanks to the ACA, she has affordable, real coverage on the exchanges. …


Join the Massive Science Consortium, a group for scientist-communicators who want to have an impact.

My cofounders Nadja Oertelt, Allan Lasser and I started Massive last year with a simple goal: to help make science more accessible to everyone. We’re lifelong lovers of science with backgrounds in research, media and product development who came together over a shared belief that the traditional ways of bringing science to the public are falling short.

Most science journalism focuses on the results, rather than the process, and often blows studies out of proportion or jumps to false conclusions. Professional science communication, though well intentioned, rarely reaches beyond the scientific community.

Last weekend’s worldwide March for Science was awe-inspiring proof of both the desire and the need for better, more direct science outreach. We want to do our part to make sure the momentum from the March turns into lasting change. But we know it’s hard for many time-strapped students and scientists just to get started with outreach, much less build and maintain a real, engaged audience. That’s why we’ve developed a program to make it easy for you to take that next step. …

About

Gabriel Stein

@gabestein | Media, science, tech, politics, general silliness. | Formerly: @massivesci, @heleoworld, @upworthy, @fastcompany, @google, @ogilvy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store