Digital Science Producer, PBS NewsHour
Nsikan Akpan is the digital science producer for PBS NewsHour and co-creator of the award-winning digital series ScienceScope. Nsikan was elected to the board of the National Association of Science Writers in September 2016. Prior to joining NewsHour, his work appeared in NPR, Science Magazine, Science News, Scientific American, Newsweek, and elsewhere. He holds a doctorate in pathobiology (Columbia University) and is an alum of the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Actor, Writer, and Visiting Professor, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University
Alan Alda is an actor, writer, and co-founder of The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where he is a visiting professor. The Center has trained nearly 10,000 scientists in improv-based communications skills in the United States and abroad since its inception in 2009.
Director of Science Outreach, COMPASS Science Communication
Nancy Baron leads communication workshops around the world for scientists in academia, government, and non-governmental organizations for COMPASS, a nonprofit organization. She guides scientists on how to engage in society’s conversations and make their research more relevant to journalists, policy makers, and the public. Her practical communications book, Escape from the Ivory Tower: A guide to making your science matter (Island Press), is widely used by environmental scientists. Nancy received the 2013 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in the Media for her work at the intersection of science and journalism.
Co-founder & CEO, World Science Festival
Tracy Day serves as CEO of the World Science Foundation, overseeing the creative and programmatic offerings of the World Science Festival and producing original theatrical, musical, and multimedia works at the intersection of science and art. She is a four-time National News Emmy award-winning journalist and has produced live and documentary programming for the nation’s preeminent television news divisions for over two decades.
Senior Writer, NBC News
Maggie Fox’s passion is writing what’s true about medicine and science. She is a journalist with more than 35 years’ experience in reporting from around the world and has been focused on health and science for more than 20 of those years. Maggie is the former global health and science editor for Reuters and former healthcare and technology editor for National Journal, and she is now senior writer at NBC News, focusing on simple, straightforward explanatory journalism and telling stories. For Maggie, it’s all about the people, and it’s all about making it clear.
Ford Foundation Professor of Physics and Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, Brown University
Sylvester James “Jim” Gates Jr. is an award-winning American theoretical physicist. He is a Ford Foundation Professor of Physics at Brown University and College Park Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. He has authored over 200 scientific publications and has been featured in several popular physics documentaries, including: “The Elegant Universe,” “Fabric of the Cosmos,” and “The Hunt for the Higgs.” Jim co-wrote Superspace, the first comprehensive book about supersymmetry, and was the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university.
President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg is an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine. She has devoted most of her career to public service, including such significant roles as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), assistant secretary for planning and evaluation (HHS), health commissioner for New York City, and assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Hamburg is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Health, Science, and Environment Editor, The Washington Post
Laura Helmuth is the health, science and environment editor for The Washington Post and the president of the National Association of Science Writers. She has previously worked as an editor for National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, and Science magazines. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley.
Community Engagement Editor, Idaho Statesman
Bill Manny is the community engagement editor at the Idaho Statesman. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, D.C. He is a bicyclist, backpacker and peak-bagger, and he is past president of Boise City Club. He lives in Boise, Idaho.
Co-Founder and President, Quadrivium Foundation
Kathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of the Quadrivium Foundation. She is an advocate for improving science communications and is a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund, Rockefeller University, and Climate Central and an adviser to the Meta-Research Innovation Center (METRICS) at Stanford.
Independent Journalist; Senior Fellow, Democracy Fund
Geneva Overholser is a longtime newspaperwoman (New York Times editorial board, Washington Post ombudsman, editor of the Des Moines Register) whose last full-time gig was running the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. She now serves on boards (CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Rita Allen Foundation, Northwestern University in Qatar) and advises Democracy Fund, Report for America, Trust Project, and AAAS Public Face of Science.
Professor of Science Communication, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Dietram A. Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. His research deals with the public and political interfaces of emerging science. Scheufele has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University, a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Environment Reporter, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune
Mark Schleifstein is the environment and hurricane reporter for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, and a leader of its new Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team. Schleifstein's reporting on Katrina was among the newspaper's stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting. He's the co-author with John McQuaid of the book "Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms," about Katrina. He also was co-author of the 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?", which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at University of Texas at Austin
Talia Stroud has published extensively on how our beliefs influence the information that we seek and how we interpret that information, including in scientific contexts. She directs the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, which is focused on understanding how people interact with media and how to improve their media experiences.