LAT creates new beat: local research and intellectual trends

Metro reporter Scott Gold will focus on stories about "the scientific and technological breakthroughs of the modern era" — and also earthquakes. The challenge of the beat will be to actually cover institutions like JPL and the issues raised by science and technology here — and earthquakes — and not just to enthuse on what's cool. Today's newsroom memo follows.

To: The Staff
From: Ashley Dunn, Assistant Managing Editor

Scott Gold, a Times staff writer since 1999, will begin covering the world of local research and intellectual trends. Scott's task will be to cover what amounts to an astonishing local story -- California's central role in many of the scientific and technological breakthroughs of the modern era. His beat will include coverage of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and earthquakes, two areas traditionally covered by Metro.

More after the jump.

Since joining The Times, Scott has tackled a wide variety of assignments, including stints as a beat reporter in Orange County, the Riverside bureau chief and the Houston bureau chief. He is a tested breaking news reporter, having covered the Bush-Gore recount in 2000, the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, among other national news events. Some of his most noted work came in 2005 and 2006, when he rode out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and spent months documenting the aftermath of the nation's costliest natural disaster. More recently, Scott wrote a roving series of Southern California dispatches and a 21-part series about South Los Angeles, which included award-winning multimedia elements.

Before coming to The Times, Scott was a reporter for the Wilmington, N.C., Star-News and the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sun-Sentinel. Scott is a graduate of the University of North Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

He is especially prepared for this assignment because he is the only person in his family without a PhD, having been raised by two neurobiologists and two classicists, one of whom is considered a leading expert in the historical legacies of both Alexander Hamilton and Star Wars.

Scott will report to me.

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