Peter McMahon - Author
Peter McMahon knew he wanted to be a writer by grade 10, the year he started working for his high school paper in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1996, he was accepted into the journalism program at Toronto's Ryerson University. Since then, Peter has written and produced for some of Canada's largest media outlets, including CTV, the Toronto Star, the kids magazine YES Mag and Discovery Channel, where he spent seven years as a new media producer and later, senior online producer.
While at Discovery, Peter pioneered the first TV-quality live webcasts of science events online. Serving as producer, editor and sometimes host, the productions ranged from live video coverage of the 2007 lunar eclipse to the 2008 university concrete canoe challenge (co-hosted by Survivorman's Les Stroud and canoe author Kevin Callan), to the FIRST Robotics Canadian championships, to a generation-3 night-vision webcast of the Perseid meteor shower --- from inside a meteor crater!
As a science journalist, Peter has travelled the world and met some fascinating people: He has covered a space shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida; helped unearth the bones of a giant carnivorous tyrannosaur in the Alberta badlands; witnessed the reconstruction of a 400-year-old sunken warship in Sweden; walked along the path of a photon in a particle accelerator; and travelled 2 km (4 CN towers!) underground in search of the universe's missing mass.
In his travels, he has met and interviewed “science celebrities” from primate researcher Jane Goodall to James Watson (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) to Anousheh Ansari (the world's first female space tourist). He has interviewed “daredevil billionaire” Sir Richard Branson and dozens of American and Canadian astronauts; and he has also worked with science hosts Jay Ingram, Ziya Tong, Natasha Stillwell and sometimes-host of Daily Planet and Daily Planet specials Ed Robertson.
Since leaving Discovery and CTV full-time in 2009, Peter has gone on to cover the health science of the Olympics at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games for CTVolympics.ca
He is currently working on a number of writing projects with magazines, web sites and the federal government, as well as a series of books on vehicles of the future for Kids Can Press.
The ideas for the experiments in his books come from years of creating such activities for hands-on children's science programs at museums. While working on his latest book, Peter tested his experiments out in the “lab” of his children's programs, getting feedback on what rocks, what doesn't and having a lot of fun along the way.
An avid backyard astronomer, Peter writes, produces and speaks on topics from do-it-yourself science, to science promotion in Canada, to wilderness stargazing, to space tourism and our future in the cosmos.