Skip navigation

About Smithsonian Insider

Every day, Smithsonian experts look through the lenses of art, history, science and culture to examine many of the world’s most intriguing and complex topics. Smithsonian Insider takes you beyond the bricks and mortar of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and 9 research centers, to share with you the astounding and diverse work being conducted by the Smithsonian around the world.

About Our Writers

John BarratJohn Barrat
John is the senior writer and editor for Smithsonian Insider. He has 25 years of experience publicizing research by Smithsonian scientists, from astrophysics to paleontology. He has contributed to numerous publications, including Inside Smithsonian Research, the Smithsonian News Service and Smithsonian Research Reports.

Maria AndersonMaria Anderson
Maria is the press secretary for Latino and Spanish-language media at the Smithsonian, an avid moviegoer and fascinated by all things science. She promotes Smithsonian science news, including the discovery of the olinguito (a new species of mammal), a report on the state of birds in the U.S. and the latest in 3-D digitization.

Michelle DonahueMichelle Z. Donahue
Michelle Z. Donahue is a freelance writer who covers nature, science and technology. Her work has appeared on, Wired, National Geographic News and Popular Science.


Marilyn Scallan
Marilyn is an editor in the Smithsonian’s central Office of Public Affairs. She has been at the Smithsonian since 2008 and when not editing, she keeps an eye out for stories that bring together art and science, not to mention rock ’n’ roll.

Johnny GibbonsJohnny Gibbons
Johnny is the senior press secretary at the Smithsonian, with more than 10 years of experience of promoting the Smithsonian’s amazing work in the fields of art, history, science and culture. From giant panda babies to 3-D scanning of museum collections, Johnny has shared Smithsonian discoveries with the world. He is most happy when his passions for ornithology and journalism combine, making him the go-to man for the latest in Smithsonian bird research.

Becky HaberackerBH Headshot
According to Haberacker family lore, Becky announced to her parents after her first trip to the Smithsonian (around age 11 or so) that she wanted to work there someday. As a public affairs specialist since 2002, she has been sharing the Smithsonian’s work in science, history, art and culture with the world.

Hannah S. OstroffHannah Ostroff
Hannah writes mostly for the Smithsonian’s social media accounts, but her first passion is telling stories in more than 140 characters. With a background in journalism, she has covered everything from small local art shows to the unveiling of a new species of dinosaur. Hannah is always eager to discuss food as connection to our collective memory, American history and culture reflected in music, and videos of baby animals.