Dearest Internet mammals: This is it. After years of faithful service, I’m leaving io9. If you’re reading this, you already know how special this place is, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief and spare you my gushing praise. But, if you’ll permit me just a tiny bit of gushing, I’d like to say a little about what working here has meant to me.

I’ve thought a lot about how best to convey this, and I’ve settled on a personal anecdote that actually predates my time working here. To be honest, I don’t think anyone at io9 even knows about this. Anyway, here goes.

In college, I wrote my English thesis on Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. My central point was that the novel should be read not as a condemnation of scientific overreach, but a challenge to engage in pragmatic conversations about the future of biological research and its applications. The essay was stuffy, wordy, and more than a little self-important—but at its core it was optimistic.

I mention all this for three reasons. The first is that io9, thanks to its tremendous editorial scope and uncommonly incisive readership, has always been a place to engage in smart, critical, and, crucially, optimistic conversations about science and its applications—i.e. exactly the kinds of conversations I thought Oryx and Crake was designed to encourage.

The second is that I had io9’s virtues in mind, specifically, while writing my thesis; I even cited this article by Annalee Newitz near the beginning of my essay. My thesis advisor was also a longtime fan of the site, which played no small role in my approaching her to work with me. Basically, I lived and breathed this place.

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Which brings us to reason number three: Not long after I submitted my thesis, by one of the most fortuitous turns of fate in my life, Annalee offered me an internship at io9. A few months after that, she offered me a job.

For more than four years now, it’s been a job I’ve been happy, eager, and proud to pour my life into. So thank you, Annalee, for giving me this unbelievable opportunity. Thank you also to Charlie Jane Anders, for being the backbone of this site. Thank you to everyone I’ve ever worked with at io9, Gizmodo, and Gawker Media at large, and to Meredith Woerner, Cyriaque Lamar, Lauren Davis, and Rob Bricken, especially, for supporting and advising me throughout my time here. And finally, thank you to the readers, the commenters, the ODeckers, and the Sunday Puzzlers, for making this site the incredible community that it is.

I’m going to miss the hell out of all of you, but it’s time for me to move on. In two weeks, I’ll be taking over design coverage at WIRED, where I’ll be splicing science, speculation, technology, and wonderment with the channel’s DNA. If you need me, that’s where I’ll be—and you can always come yell at me on Twitter.

Godspeed, io9. I love you all. I’ll see you in the comments.