News: News Archives
Young Scientists Begin a Summer Newsroom Odyssey as AAAS Media Fellows
Fourteen advanced science, mathematics and engineering students begin a science journalism program this week intended to increase public understanding of science and technology by strengthening the connection between scientists and journalists.
Every summer, the 10-week AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program places graduate- and post-graduate-level students from a variety of scientific disciplines in the newsrooms of some of the most prominent news organizations around the country, including National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, and Scientific American.
For 32 years, this highly-competitive program has given AAAS Fellows the opportunity to sharpen their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to non-specialists by applying their academic training in the sciences to researching and reporting breaking science news.
Judy Kass, head of the AAAS program, said that the program is critical in enhancing coverage of science-related issues in the news.
“At a time when science departments at U.S. newspapers are suffering from cutbacks, and science literacy among the country’s youth is either stagnant or declining, this AAAS program is especially important in training the next generation of scientists to communicate effectively with the public,” said Kass, who also serves as senior project director for the AAAS Education and Human Resources Programs.
During their media training, the fellows observe and participate in the news process, improve their communication skills by learning to describe complex technical subjects in a manner understandable to the lay public, and increase their understanding of editorial decision-making and the way in which information is effectively disseminated.
The program has supported 518 Fellows, many of whom have gone on to report science news for major U.S. news outlets. A few notable alumni include: Richard Harris, Joe Palca and David Kestenbaum of National Public Radio; Ken Chang of the New York Times; Steve Mirsky of Scientific American; Julianne Malveaux, whose work has appeared in USA Today and Essence magazine; and Neal Baer, executive producer of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
The following are the 2006 AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows, their educational background and their summer news assignments:
- Ilene Auerbach—Ph.D., cellular and molecular pathology, University of California, Los Angeles; KUNC-FM, Greeley, Co.
- Brendan Borrell—Ph.D. candidate, integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley; The Oregonian.
- Erin Cline—Ph.D. candidate, molecular and cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine; Los Angeles Times.
- Rachel Courtland—M.S., physics, Emory University; U.S. News & World Report.
- Charles Emrich—Ph.D., biophysics, University of California, Berkeley; Sacramento Bee.
- Erika Engelhaupt—M.S., environmental studies, University of Colorado-Boulder; Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Brie Finegold—Ph.D. candidate, mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara; Scientific American.
- Frank Ling—Ph.D., chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; Voice of America, Washington, D.C.
- Molly McElroy—Ph.D. candidate, neuroscience, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Miriah Meyer—Ph.D. candidate, computer science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Chicago Tribune.
- Katharine Ott—Ph.D. candidate, mathematics, University of Virginia; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
- Kelly Reeves—M.S., botany, University of Wyoming; National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.
- Jill Sakai—Ph.D. candidate, neuroscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Marcus Woo—Ph.D. candidate, astronomy, University of Maryland; WOSU, Columbus, Ohio.
7 June 2006