The inaugural National Undergraduate Conference on Scientific Journalism was held virtually on November 21, 2020. Organized by the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal editorial board, the event brought together 500 students from over 30 countries and 13 distinguished speakers. Dr. Martin Chalfie, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, delivered the keynote address, "Writing: An Essential Component of Research." Student remarks were given by Arya Rao, President Emeritus of NUCSJ.
How is scientific literature absorbed and disseminated? This panel will evaluate the use of scientific literature in scientific practice and journalism. In addition, we will discuss how undergraduates can make informed conclusions about scientific literature in both their own research and the publication process for undergraduate journals. Moderated by Jason Mohabir, Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal.
Christina Monnen is the Associate Researcher for NOVA on PBS. An experienced fact-checker, she has contributed to dozens of science documentaries, including two Emmy-nominated films and a duPont-Columbia finalist (“Decoding COVID-19”). As a 2018 Cell Press intern, Monnen previewed research for international outlets like NYT, National Geographic, and Science Friday. She graduated from Columbia University with an environmental biology thesis on cross-species birdsong, and during quarantine, has enjoyed tackling jigsaw puzzles and exploring parks in greater Boston.
John McSweeney is an associate professor of Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a small STEM-focused school in Indiana. He earned his B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from McGill University, and a PhD specializing in probability theory from Ohio State. He has been a co-editor of the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal for 5 years, and he teaches courses all across the undergraduate curriculum from discrete math to vector calculus to statistics.
John Willinsky is Khosla Family Professor of Education and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Stanford University. He directs the Public Knowledge Project, which conducts research and develops open source scholarly publishing software in support of greater access to knowledge. He is working on the book Fixing Copyright’s Constitutional Violation: A Proposal to Restore the Law’s Ability “To Promote the Progress of Science.”
Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer-prize winning science writer, is director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and publisher of Undark magazine. She is the author of six books, two of them made into documentary films, and has written for publications ranging from The New York Times to Wired. She sits on the board of the Council for Advancement of Science Writing, The Scientist, Chemical & Engineering News, and the MIT Museum.
One of the biggest problems facing the world today is scientific misinformation. This panel will examine the spread of research related to COVID-19 and the generalizations commonly made about COVID-19. In addition, we will discuss the prevention of scientific misinformation. Moderated by Isabella Leite, Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal.
Szabolcs Marka is studying the birth and death of cosmic black holes, and other violent cosmic events, through multimessenger astrophysics using gravitational waves. He strongly believes that beyond seeking fundamental discoveries, scientists should also invest in bettering human life here on Earth through utilizing their experience and creativity.
Carl Zimmer is the science columnist for the New York Times, where he has been reporting on Covid-19 biology, vaccines, and treatments since the start of the pandemic. He is also the author of fourteen books; his latest book, Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive will be published in March.
Betsy Ladyzhets is a data journalist and science writer. She currently works as a senior research associate at Stacker, where she does data reporting and manages the publication's science, health, and lifestyle content. She also volunteers on the Data Entry team for the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Her newsletter, the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, brings together her experience from both of these roles with news, resources, and original analysis of COVID-19 data sources.
Yolanda Botti Lodovico is the current Policy Lead in the Sabeti Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In this role, she has contributed to several scientific publications, including articles in TIME, the Atlantic, Boston Herald, and Stat. Having had the opportunity to learn from some of the top genomic scientists in the world, including Dr. Pardis Sabeti and team, she aims to use her policy background as a means of making science communication more accessible and comprehensible to all.
Scientific communication is of great importance for all scientists, regardless of specific profession. This panel will discuss the role of scientific journalism and communication in future career paths for undergraduate scientists. Moderated by Elin Hu, Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal.
Amy Ellis Nutt is a former Washington Post science writer. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2011 and is the author of three books, including two New York Times' bestsellers. Nutt lives in Washington, D.C. and is at work on a new book.
Scott Solomon teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and scientific communication as an Associate Teaching Professor at Rice University. Dr. Solomon enjoys sharing science with the public by speaking at schools, museums, churches, science cafés, TEDx events and other venues and often appears on podcasts, radio, and television. His popular writing and photography have appeared in publications such as NBC News, Slate, Aeon, Nautilus, and Wired and his first book, Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution was published by Yale University Press.
Apoorva Mandavilli is a reporter for the New York Times, focusing on science and global health. She is the 2019 winner of the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Spectrum, an award-winning news site on autism science that grew an audience of millions. Ms. Mandavilli has won numerous awards for her writing. Her work has been published in the Atlantic, Slate, and the New Yorker online, and in the anthology “Best American Science and Nature Writing.”
Todd P. Newman is an assistant professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate of the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His teaching and research focuses on the role of strategic communication within the context of science, technology, and the environment.
Copyright © 2021 NUCSJ - All Rights Reserved.