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NASW workshop
CASW New Horizons in Science
Lunch with a scientist

  • NH
    John Cook

    Research assistant professor, George Mason University

    John Cook is a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He obtained his PhD at the University of Western Australia, studying the cognitive psychology of climate science denial. His research focus is understanding and countering misinformation about climate change. In 2007, he founded Skeptical Science, a website that won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and 2016 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. Cook co-authored the college textbooks Climate Change: Examining the Facts and Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis and the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand.

    Twitter: @johnfocook
    Web: http://www.skepticalscience.com/

  • NH
    Felecia Davis

    Assistant professor, Stuckeman Center for Design Computing, Penn State University

    Felecia Davis is the director of SOFTLAB@PSU. Her work in design explores the role of communication to people through computational textiles or e-textiles, textiles that can sense and respond to the environment with embedded electronics and sensors. Davis has lectured, taught workshops, published, and exhibited her work in textiles, computation, and architecture internationally, including the Swedish School of Textiles, Microsoft Research, and the MIT Media Lab. Davis has taught architectural design for more than 10 years at Cornell University, and design studios, most recently at Princeton University and the Cooper Union in New York. Principal in her own design firm, FELECIADAVISTUDIO, she has received several finalist awards for her architectural designs in open and invited design competitions such as the California Valley Central History Museum, the Queens Museum of Art Addition and the Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet Neighborhood Revitalization Competition, and the Little Haiti Housing Association in Miami. Davis earned a Ph.D. from the Design and Computation Group in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT. She received her M. Arch. from Princeton and her B.S. in engineering from Tufts University. While at MIT, she designed computational textiles — textiles that respond to commands through computer programming, electronics, and sensors for use in architecture. Such responsive textiles, used in lightweight shelters, will transform how we communicate, socialize, and use space.

    Twitter: @fadamit
    Web: https://stuckeman.psu.edu/faculty/felecia-davis


  • LS
    José Pinto Duarte

    Penn State

    José Pinto Duarte is Stuckeman Chair in Design Innovation and director of the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing (SCDC) at Penn State. Duarte’s expertise encompasses architecture, urban planning, computational design, generative systems and digital fabrication. Duarte's scholarly work in his area of expertise, shape grammars, is considered to be among the most highly recognized in this field internationally.

    Duarte co-led PennStateDen@Mars, an interdisciplinary team composed of students and faculty representing the Colleges of Arts and Architecture, Engineering, Agricultural Sciences and the Materials Research Institute, who competed in NASA’s ambitious challenge that called on entrants to develop advanced 3D-printing technology to produce a structurally sound habitat that could be printed by NASA space explorers on Mars and beyond.

    The team’s design, which finished in 2nd place, included printing a fully enclosed structure – something that has never been accomplished in 3D-printed home construction research. This work brought the team one step closer to the intended goal of the research, which is to develop 3D-printed home construction technology that could impact homelessness or help to rebuild areas ravaged by natural disaster.


  • NH
    Hana El-Samad

    Kuo Family Endowed Professor and vice chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco

    Hana El-Samad's research group emphasizes the role of control theory and dynamical systems in the study of biological networks. Her group works at the interface of systems and synthetic biology, focusing on the architecture, roles, principles, and evolution of feedback loops in biological circuits. A major current focus is to develop rationally designed, programmable, plug-and-play, cellular recognizance and repair circuits that can be broadly deployed for therapies and biotechnological applications. El-Samad is a 2009 Packard Fellow and recipient of many honors, including the 2011 Donald P. Eckman Award and the 2012 CSB2 prize in systems biology. She was also named a Paul G. Allen Distinguished Investigator in 2013 and senior investigator of the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub in 2017. El-Samad joined UCSF after obtaining a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, preceded by a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Iowa State University.

    Twitter: @HanaScientist
    Web: http://elsamadlab.ucsf.edu


  • WK
    Eva Emerson

    Editor-in-chief, Knowable magazine, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Eva Emerson leads Knowable magazine, a digital science publication that launched in 2017. She previously served as editor-in-chief of Science News magazine and website, where she was instrumental in the transition to the digital space. She has written about science in various media for more than 20 years, starting her career at the "Magic School Bus" television show with stops at the Honolulu Weekly newspaper, the California Science Center, the University of Southern California and, beginning in 2007, at Science News. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz's science communication program, she holds a B.A. in biology and served as a lab tech at UCSF before turning to writing and editing.

    Twitter: @evaemersonAR
    Email: eemerson@annualreviews.org


  • WK
    Pete Farley

    Director of Communications for Research and Education, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.

    Pete's team at UCSF handles communications and media outreach for basic and translational science across the enterprise. A graduate of Brown University, Pete has worked in science publishing, editing, and communications for more than 25 years. He holds a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Pete was chief academic organizer of ScienceWriters2010 in New Haven, and served on the Organizing Committee for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, held in San Francisco in 2017.


  • WK
    Susana Ferreira


    Susana Ferreira is a Portuguese-Canadian freelance reporter, producer, and writer for magazines and film. She spent four years based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti as a correspondent for Reuters and stringer for Time, CBC, PRI, and other outlets. She won the inaugural Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, administered by NYU, for a long-form story about drug decriminalization in Portugal. She has filed breaking news and deeply-reported literary nonfiction from throughout the world for
    the Believer, Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal. She speaks five languages — six, if you count "Toronto English."


  • LS
    Gregory Friberg


    Gregory Friberg received his A.B. degree in biochemistry from Middlebury College and M.D. from New York Medical College. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and his fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at The University of Chicago Hospitals. As part of his training, he graduated from the University of Chicago Health Sciences Department Clinical Research Training Program specializing in clinical trial design and analysis. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago thereafter joining the Phase I, Gastrointestinal, and Gynecologic oncology teams where he served as the PI for multiple early phase clinical studies. He published multiple research papers and reviews, and he was an active member of ASCO, the CALGB, and the GOG.

    Friberg joined Amgen in 2006 as an Associate Medical Director in Oncology Early Development. He served as the team lead for multiple early and mid-stage programs, shepherding molecules though IND filings, into initial human studies, and onto later development. Friberg took over as group leader in 2011 and served for 3 years as Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology Early Development and later for 4 months as Early Development Head overseeing (Oncology, Inflammation, Neuroscience, and General Medicine/Bone). Starting in 2014, Greg served as the interim co-TA head for the Hematology / Oncology TA. In 2016 he served as the Global Product General Manager (GPGM) for the early hematology BiTE portfolio.

    In 2017 Friberg assumed the role of vice president and Therapeutic Area Head, Hematology / Oncology Global Development. In addition, in 2019 Greg assumed the TA Head responsibilities for the Bone franchise.


  • WK
    Anna Funk

    Associate editor, Discover, Waukesha, Wisc.

    Anna Funk is associate editor at Discover magazine. In addition to writing for print and online, she edits features, the columns Notes from Earth and Mind over Matter, and the mini-columns that make up Discover’s front-of-book section, The Crux. She joined the Discover staff in 2018 after working at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow. Before that, she studied prairie restoration ecology, and has her Ph.D. in plant biology and ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior from Michigan State. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisc.

    Pitching guidelines:

    Discover puts out eight issues a year and web stories daily. We're always looking for writers for our features as well as the shorter columns. So if you have a great idea for a science story, it doesn't matter so much that you know in advance which column it might fit into (though that's a nice sign that you're familiar with the magazine) — we can help with that. The most important thing for a pitch is, first and foremost, the science (what's new about it, and why is it interesting to readers). Preference will be given to stories that have a strong narrative underlying the strong science. We offer travel budgets for print features, so mention any excursions you have in mind. "Researchers are studying X" pitches are too early — wait for results, or better yet, for the peer-reviewed paper to come out.

    Twitter: @DrAnnaFunk
    Email: afunk@discovermagazine.com


  • WK
    Gisele Grayson

    Deputy editor, Science Desk, NPR

    Gisele Grayson is a deputy editor on NPR's science desk. She edits stories about climate change, the environment, space, as well as basic research in biology, physics, evolution, geology and paleontology. From 2011 to 2018, she edited health policy.  She ran the NPR side of a collaboration with Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service focused on health care policy and politics. The collaboration includes more than 30 reporters from public radio stations across the country and provided extensive coverage of both the Affordable Care Act and all the efforts to change the health law.

    Grayson started her NPR career in June 2001. She contributed to NPR's coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and the anthrax attacks later that fall. She traveled with reporters and worked on stories that ranged from the tsunami in Indonesia to black lung in West Virginia, and from dinosaurs to the Y chromosome. Grayson also spent a month in Mississippi working on stories about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, she traveled around the country with Linda Wertheimer talking to voters. She has worked on "All Things Considered," produced election night coverage in 2010, and won a national health care reporting award for producing a story on osteopenia with reporter Alix Spiegel.
    Before working at NPR, Grayson worked for various law firms in Washington, D.C., and New York, and planned meetings for business executives at the Conference Board in New York. Grayson graduated from Wesleyan University and has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

    Email: GGrayson@npr.org


  • WK
    Liza Gross

    Freelance journalist, San Francisco, Calif.

    Liza Gross is an award-winning independent journalist and author who writes about conservation, environmental and public health, the intersection of science and society, and more. Her stories reflect her wide-ranging interests and curiosity about the natural world, power imbalances, and the misuse and abuse of science for private gain. Her broad interests landed her on staff at publications as diverse as Wine Spectator, Parenting, Sierra, and the open-access journal PLOS Biology, where she's a senior editor for the magazine section. In 2017, Liza won an NASW Peggy Girshman Idea Grant to produce "The Science Writers' Investigative Reporting Handbook," which is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Twitter: @lizobio
    Email: lizagross@gmail.com


  • WK
    Lila Guterman

    Deputy News Editor, Science magazine

    Lila Guterman is a deputy news editor at Science, where she focuses on biology, chemistry, and clinical research. She has been a science writer and editor for more than 20 years and has degrees in chemistry from Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology. She is also a graduate of the science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before coming to Science, Lila worked on staff at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Science News, Chemical & Engineering News, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She has written for publications including Nature, Cell, New Scientist, the Washington Post, and the Economist.

    Lila has won national awards for her writing, including the 2002 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for young science writers, the 2003 Media Award of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and third place in the Society for Environmental Journalists' 2003 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. She was also a finalist in 2005 for a Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Lila was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006.

    Pitching guidelines:

    Are you a freelance journalist with a hot scoop or juicy scandal, a compelling profile of a scientist, or an original take on a science policy issue? If so, bring it to the award-winning news department of Science, the flagship research journal from the world's largest general science society. We're eager to break news and tell stories that no other science journalist has found.

    Here are some things you should know before pitching a story to us. The editors and writers of the news department are professional journalists and produce much of our news content. But we have plenty of appetite for freelance contributions — everything from 140-word news briefs to 2500-word features to investigative projects. About half of our online-only stories and a quarter of the stories in the weekly print issue are either assigned to freelancers we like working with or are pitched by freelancers.

    Because we receive all the big press releases and embargoed information from major journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, etc.), you will have very little luck successfully pitching a study from these. Our biggest piece of advice for selling us on a straight research story is this: Pitch us hidden gems.

    Note that we don't take stories from academic researchers, company representatives, or public information officers wishing to promote their institutions. Freelance writers should also disclose any potential conflicts of interest when they pitch a story, whether it be a personal relationship with the subject or key source of a story or previous work for the institution that would be written about. If you currently pen press releases for a university, we won't let you write about them, but if you did a feature for a school magazine a year ago and nothing since, we likely will. Just be transparent with us.

    Science covers news in all areas of science, from geology to genetics, as well as science policy and issues important to the scientific community, such as science, technology, engineering, and math education and sexual harassment. In print we publish news briefs, longer news analysis and trends stories, and features. Online, where we publish multiple daily stories, we focus on breaking news, though we are also interested in enterprise stories — that is, stories not tied to press releases, such as explainers on trending news and Q&As with interesting researchers.

    For most stories pay is per word, with rate depending on experience. For certain types of stories, such as Q&As, we pay a flat rate negotiated in advance.

    How to pitch

    • If you come across news, don’t wait to pitch it. We want to publish as soon as possible after the event. For embargoed studies, please pitch us at least 3 days in advance, so that we can OK the proposal and you can deliver a story a day or two before the embargo lifts.
    • If you are pitching a news story about a research study, write a few sentences about what the study is about and why it’s a big deal. Include the press release and paper when possible.
    • If you’re pitching a longer story, such as a feature, make sure your pitch also gives a sense of how you will tell it. What is its scope, will it focus on certain characters or places, what is the storyline? But keep the pitch tight, three or four paragraphs at most.
    • If you’re new to us, please send us published clips — no more than three or four — so we can judge your writing.
    • If you are not pitching embargoed news, please check Google News to see whether any other outlets have covered the story.
    • Note any video and audio possibilities in your pitch.
    • Put “Pitch” in your subject line. Otherwise your email may be flagged as spam or ignored as a press release.
    • Please, please, spend some time reading Science’s news site before pitching us. You’ll see that our stories, even those about medicine or business, all have some connection to basic research. You’ll also see that although we write for people with a keen interest in science, we are not aimed at the specialists. Our goal is to entice scientists and science enthusiasts to read broadly, and even for fun. The more original and interesting a proposal is, the more likely we are to take it.

    Twitter: @lilaguterman
    Email: lguterman@aaas.org


  • NH
    Chad Hanna

    Associate professor of physics and astronomy and astrophysics, Penn State University

    Chad Hanna's research focuses on studying the universe with gravitational waves using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Specifically, he and his group work to enable multi-messenger astronomy through gravitational wave observations of merging neutron stars and black holes. Hanna earned his physics PhD at Louisiana State University and was a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Institute before joining the Penn State faculty. He was awarded an NSF CAREER Award in 2015.