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NASW workshop
CASW New Horizons in Science
Lunch with a scientist

  • NH
    Christopher Monroe

    Distinguished University Professor & Bice Seci-Zorn Professor, Department of Physics, Joint Quantum Institute, and Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, University of Maryland

    Christopher Monroe is a quantum physicist who specializes in the isolation of individual atoms for applications in quantum information science. In 1995, he led a team at National Institute of Standards and Technology that demonstrated the first quantum logic gate, exploiting trapped atoms for the first controllable qubit demonstrations. At the University of Michigan and now at the University of Maryland, he has continued his work using atoms as the building blocks for quantum computers, finding new ways to scale up the number of connected trapped-ion qubits and taking the first steps toward a scalable, reconfigurable, and modular quantum computer. In addition to his academic position, he is cofounder and chief scientist at IonQ in College Park, Md.

    Email: monroe@umd.edu
    Web: http://iontrap.umd.edu/

  • WK
    Michael Moyer

    Deputy editor, Quanta magazine, New York, N.Y.

    Michael Moyer is the deputy editor at Quanta Magazine in charge of the physical sciences and mathematics. He used to be an editor at Scientific American, and before that, Popular Science. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Best American Science Writing series, and he’s the winner of numerous awards including the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.


  • NH
    Valerie Neal

    Space history curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

    Valerie Neal has been a space history curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum since 1989 and is current chair of the Space History Department. She is also co-chair of the museum's team for the national Apollo 50th Anniversary celebration. Her research, exhibition, and collection responsibilities focus on human spaceflight in the space shuttle era and beyond. She has written a book on spaceflight, a biography of the space shuttle Discovery, and a book about space science on the shuttle in the 1980s. She has also edited two books on space exploration, published a variety of essays and short pieces, curated three major exhibitions: on the U.S.-Soviet space race, spaceflight in and beyond the space shuttle era, and the challenges of future exploration. She curated eight Smithsonian Channel documentaries. Before joining the Smithsonian, Neal spent a decade in Huntsville, Alabama, as a writer, editor and manager for more than 25 NASA publications on shuttle and Spacelab missions, the space sciences, NASA’s Great Observatories and astrophysics, and NASA history. She also participated in underwater astronaut crew training activities and worked in mission support for four shuttle missions. She has taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Vanderbilt University, and Georgetown University.


  • WK
    Elana Newman

    Research director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.

    Elana Newman's work in journalism and trauma has focused on occupational health of journalists. She was the key investigator on the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma's research survey on photojournalists' exposure to trauma.

    Twitter: @elananewman


  • WK
    Michael E. Newman

    Senior communications officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Md.

    Michael E. Newman is a broad-based communicator with an extensive and award-winning record in three branches of communications — public affairs, journalism, and broadcast/online media. His 40-year career — the past 29 years with the federal government — has included full-time positions and freelance work in science and medical communications, corporate media, broadcast TV and radio, and mass market publications. From 1991 to 2007, Newman was director of media relations for NIST, the Commerce Department agency that serves as the nation's measurement and standards laboratory and the federal agency charged with helping U.S. industry become more competitive in the global marketplace. In his current role as NIST's senior communications officer, he specializes in communicating with the media and the public about science and engineering research. Newman also has been a successful freelance writer/editor/video producer for more than 35 years, primarily on science, technology, medical, and health topics. He is co-chair of NASW's PIO Committee, has served on seven NASW Program Committees, and received the organization's 2013 Diane McGurgan Award for dedication and volunteer service.

    Twitter: @MENewman17



  • WK
    Michelle Nijhuis

    Freelance journalist and editor, White Salmon, Wash.

    Michelle Nijhuis, a project editor for The Atlantic, is the co-editor of The Science Writers’ Handbook and the author of The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook. She writes about science and the environment for National Geographic and other publications; her work has been recognized with several national awards, and included in four Best American anthologies. After 15 years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in White Salmon, Washington.

    Twitter: @nijhuism



  • WK
    Lesley Evans Ogden

    Freelance science journalist, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Lesley Evans Ogden is a freelance science journalist based in the suburbs just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is fascinated by the natural world and how it works. She mainly writes about living things but also long dead ones like dinosaurs and mummies. She especially likes writing about quirky animal behavior, ecology, conservation, environmental health, and the challenges of freelancing. She also enjoys exploring the intersection of science, human rights, and policy.

    Twitter: @ljevanso


  • NH
    Chad Orzel

    Associate professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Union College, Schenectady, New York

    Chad Orzel is the author of three books explaining science for non-scientists: How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog and How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog. The books explain modern physics through imaginary conversations with Emmy, his German shepherd. He is also author of Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist on the role of scientific thinking in everyday life. He has a B.A. in physics from Williams College and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he did his thesis research on collisions of laser-cooled atoms at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the lab of Bill Phillips, who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics (not for anything Chad did, but it was a fun time to be in that group). His blog, Uncertain Principles, appeared at scienceblogs.com from 2002 to 2017, and currently he blogs for Forbes. His next book, Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning, will be published in December 2018 by BenBella Books (U.S.) and Oneworld Publications (U.K.).

    Twitter: @orzelc
    Web: http://chadorzel.com/

  • WK
    Becky Oskin

    Content Strategist & Writer, UC Davis College of Letters and Science

    Becky Oskin is a science writer in northern California. She works in marketing and communications for the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, developing strategies and producing content for a wide range of audiences. She was previously a reporter for LiveScience.com, specializing in earth science, physics and climate. Oskin also spent many years in North Carolina, working in media relations for both Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She got her start in science writing at the Pasadena Star-News, covering both Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    Oskin received a B.S. in Geology from Washington State University, an M.S. in Geology from the California Institute of Technology, and a Master’s Certificate in Science Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a founding member of both the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC) and Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm).


  • NH
    Scott Pace

    Executive secretary, National Space Council; former director, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University

    Over the course of his career, Scott Pace has honed his expertise in the areas of science, space, and technology. In 2017, President Trump nominated him to serve as the executive secretary for the National Space Council, which streamlines and coordinates U.S. space policy and strategy. Previously, he was the director of the Space Policy Institute and professor of the practice of international affairs at George Washington University. He has also served at NASA, the White House Office of Science and Technology, and the RAND Corporation Science and Technology Policy Institute. Pace has received numerous awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2008), the U.S. Department of State Group Superior Honor Award, GPS Interagency Team (2005), and the NASA Group Achievement Award, Columbia Accident Rapid Reaction Team (2004). He received his B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1980. Two years later, he earned a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his doctorate in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School in 1989.


  • NH
    Kevin Pelphrey

    Carbonell Family Professor and director, Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, George Washington University

    Kevin Pelphrey is an internationally renowned neuroscientist and the parent of a young woman with autism. He utilizes brain science to develop biologically based tools for detection, stratification, and individually tailored treatments. He leads the National Institutes of Health Autism Center for Excellence-Multimodal Developmental Neurogenetics of Autism network, which spans seven national sites. He also directs an NIH postdoctoral training program to prepare scientist clinicians for independent careers translating multidisciplinary science into novel treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute serves as a focal point for translational research and comprehensive clinical services for autism, while also serving as a beacon for policymakers seeking information on issues surrounding policy, research, and treatment of autism.

    Twitter: @KevinPelphrey
    Web: https://autism.gwu.edu


  • WK
    Meagan Phelan

    Executive director, Science Press Package, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.

    Meagan is the executive director of the Science Press Package team, where she oversees efforts to boost visibility of all forthcoming Science family of journal content for twelve thousand reporters worldwide. Prior to joining AAAS in 2013, she served as a senior writer at AIR Worldwide, where she interacted with more than 65 Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers. Before that, she was a senior writer at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Meagan holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Gettysburg College, a master's in science writing from the Johns Hopkins University, and received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2008.

    Twitter: @meaganphelan



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