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How to Talk to Journalists: Bridging the Cultures of Science and Journalism

September 25, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

Why do so many scientists find it hard, even unnerving, to talk to journalists?

What are the rules of engagement – and the do’s and don’ts of dealing with the media? How can you prepare to avoid the pitfalls that many scientists fear and increase the odds that you are happy with the results?  How can you make the most of opportunities with the press, for your science to have an impact?

Join veteran journalists for tips about engaging with the media. We’ll explore the differences between the cultures of scientists and journalists and how to bridge the gulf. And you’ll gain insights into how they find – and choose – their stories and sources.

This year’s event is well timed for the up-coming Oct. 9 – 13 Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) meeting at CSU. It will attract hundreds of environmental and science journalists from across the country and beyond.

Bring your questions!  You’ll get candid answers in a safe setting from this diverse array of journalists.

Nancy Baron is the Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS. Nancy holds workshops around the world for academic, government, and NGO scientists helping them develop core competencies as scientist communicators who want to make their work relevant to journalists, policy makers, and the public. Nancy began her career as a biologist in Banff National Park, spent 6 years as Director of Education at the Vancouver Aquarium, then morphed into journalism. She has won numberous writing awards including the Canadian Science Writers Science in Society and National Magazine awards. An ardent natuarlist, she published a popular field guide, The Birds of Costal British Columbia (Lone Pine Publishing) and a “how to” communications guide book for scientists titled Escape from the Ivory Tower (Island Press). Nancy received the 2013 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in the Media for her work at the intersection of science and journalism.

Christopher Joyce has been a correspondent and editor at NPR for 26 years. For all but two years, he’s worked on the science desk, writing and producing stories on all fields of science, with an emphasis on biology, energy, and environmental sciences. His stories can be heard on all of NPR’s news programs, including NPR’s “Morning Edition”, “All Things Considered”, and “Weekend Edition”. In addition to his work with the science desk, Chris was the editor and a correspondent for NPR’s Radio Expeditions, a documentary program on natural history produced in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. He has also written two popular books on science, “Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell” and “Earthly Goods: Medicine Hunting in the Rainforest,” both published by Little Brown. In his free time, Chris sails a 38-foot Ericson called “Ruby Slipper.”

Grace Hood is an Environmental Reporter at Colorado Public Radio who investigates energy and environment topics in Colorado. She is drawn to people with compelling stories. Whether it’s tracking down a hidden monument on Forest Service land or following scientists as they count birds with drones, her passion is finding stories that are surprising. If she’s really successful, maybe you’ll think about something in a different way. Grace began her career as a reporter at the Boulder Weekly. Before entering journalism, she was a history major at Bryn Mawr College. Her reporting has been recognized by the Associated Press, Society for Professional Journalists and RTDNA.

David Malakoff is a Deputy News Editor specializing in coverage of science policy, energy and the environment. A native of Washington D.C., he has spent more than 25 years reporting on how scientists influence government policy, and how government policy shapes science. In addition to reporting for Science, he has worked as an editor and correspondent on NPR’s Science Desk, for Conservation Magazine, and as a freelancer for numerous outlets.

Aviva Rutkin is the Data Editor at The Conversation US, a nonprofit media outlet with content written by academics and edited by journalists. She was previously a reporter/editor at New Scientist. Her work has also appeared in BBC, National Geographic, MIT Technology Review, Metro, Salon, and Mashable. She studied neuroscience at Union College and science writing at MIT.

Katie Langin is the associate editor for the Careers section of Science Magazine. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University and was a member of the inaugural cohort of SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows in 2011-2012. Her first taste of journalism was at National Geographic, where she joined the newsroom as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow. She also completed a journalism internship at Science before joining the magazine’s news team more permanently. She teleworks from Fort Collins.


September 25, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:15 pm


Laura Shaver
(970) 491-7583


Lory Student Center- Room 382
1101 Center Ave Mall
Fort Collins, CO 80521 United States
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