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NASW workshop
CASW New Horizons in Science
Lunch with a scientist

  • WK
    Ted Kyle

    Founder, ConscienHealth, Board of Directors, Obesity Action Coalition, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Ted Kyle, founded ConscienHealth in 2009. Ted is a pharmacist and health-care innovation professional who works with health and obesity experts for sound policy and innovation to address obesity. He serves on the board of directors for the Obesity Action Coalition, advises the Obesity Society on advocacy, and consults with organizations addressing the needs of people living with obesity. His widely read daily commentary, published at ConscienHealth.org, reaches an audience of more than 10,000 thought leaders in health and obesity.

    Twitter: @ConscienHealth
    Email: Ted.Kyle@ConscienHealth.org


  • WK
    Michael Lam

    Assistant professor of physics, Rochester Institute of Technology + Reddit's AskScience, Rochester, N.Y.

    I am an astronomer working as a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav). Currently I'm a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I received a B.A. in astronomy-physics and computer science from Colgate University, received an M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Cornell University, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at West Virginia University before moving to RIT.

    Besides research, I am actively involved in public outreach, both inside and outside of our collaboration. My main outreach focus is as part of AskScience, where I coordinate the "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) series on Reddit, in which we bring scientists and the public directly together for Q&A sessions. I started as a panelist with the group, where I would provide answers to questions given my realm of expertise, and in 2015 decided to revive the series.

    In my free time, I enjoy running, reading and playing with the best beagle there is.

    Twitter: @astromlam
    Email: astromlam@gmail.com


  • WK
    Yanick Rice Lamb

    Chair and associate professor, Department of Media, Journalism and Film, Howard University

    Yanick Rice Lamb's mission is to give voice to the voiceless and share the gift of knowledge through the written word. An award-winning journalist and author, Yanick shares her expertise at Howard University, where she is an associate professor and interim assistant chair of the new Department of Media, Journalism and Film. She teaches multimedia reporting, interactive editing and magazine writing. She is also adviser to 101 Magazine and the Howard University News Service. Her research focuses on the impact of social media and technology, media management and diversity in coverage.

    In addition to teaching, Yanick is a media consultant, Digitally Speaking columnist for __Howard Magazine and co-founder of FierceforBlackWomen.com and Fully-Connected.com. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Essence, Parenting, Ebony, the History Channel Magazine, BlackAmericaWeb.com and thegrio.com, part of MSNBC. Through an Association of Health Care Journalists fellowship, she spent a year investigating long-term care of the uninsured for the article “Stuck in the Hospital.” She is also the John A. Hartford/MetLife Foundation Journalism in Aging & Health Fellow.

    She spent a decade at the New York Times as assistant style editor, deputy home and living editor, assistant editor of Connecticut Weekly, metropolitan copy editor and layout editor on the news desk. She was also senior editor at Child magazine, copy editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reporter at the Toledo Blade, editor-at-large at Essence magazine and contributing editor for Emerge. Her clients at Miyan Communications Group have included The Magazine Group, BET, Essence, Heart & Soul, Afro-American Newspapers, the Fort Greene News, and authors Cheryl Martin and the late Ron Walters.


  • WK
    Ben Young Landis

    Writer/creator, Creative Externalities; executive co-chair, Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm), Sacramento, Calif.

    Ben Young Landis leads Creative Externalities, a collective designing lasting impact for science, environment, and society. He has produced content and advised on communication strategies for the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the World Conference of Science Journalists, and other clients. Landis has also led science communication and science policy trainings for SETAC, CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, Duke, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz. He has written for North Carolina Sea Grant and the AGU Thriving Earth Exchange, and managed outreach and media relations for the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center from 2010 to 2015.

    Landis received a B.A. in evolution and ecology and minor in education from UC Davis, a M.E.M. from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, and a AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship in 2009 to the Orange County Register. Landis is the founder and current executive co-chair of Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm), a regional science writers group serving the greater Sacramento region in California.

    Twitter: @younglandis
    Email: ben@cr8xt.com




  • LS
    Tracy Langkilde

    Penn State

    Tracy Langkilde, professor and head of the department of biology at Penn State, works at the intersection of ecology and evolution to understand how an organism's behavior and physiology are matched to its environment, and how it responds to novel selective pressures imposed by global environmental change. Her research, incorporating field and lab observations, studies the resilience and responses of native populations to rapid disruptions; it explores the impact of human-caused threats on behavior, morphology, communication, survival, stress levels, and immune function of affected species, and examines the benefits, and potential costs, of species’ adaptations to these threats.


  • WK
    Judith Lavelle

    Writer-editor, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

    Judy is a writer-editor at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There, she manages media relations and creates online, social, and video content on HIV, allergy, immunology, and transplantation research. Judy holds a B.A. in English from Wells College and an M.S. in science journalism from Boston University. Her science writing and multimedia work have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chemical & Engineering News, Scientific American Online, The Healing Muse, 90.9 WBUR and on the walls of Philadelphia's Mütter Museum. Empowering language as a means to dismantle health-related stigma has been a personal and professional interest since Judy began reporting on psychiatric medications in college and HIV prevention in graduate school. She continues to promote empowering language around HIV, disabilities, and rare diseases in her current role.

    Twitter: @jude_lavelle
    Email: judith.lavelle@nih.gov



  • NH
    Nicole Lazar

    Professor of statistics, University of Georgia

    Nicole Lazar received her undergraduate degree in statistics and psychology from Tel Aviv University, her MS in statistics from Stanford University, and her PhD in statistics from the University of Chicago. She was on the faculty of the Statistics Department at Carnegie Mellon University before moving to the University of Georgia in 2004. She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Past editor-in-chief of The American Statistician, she has also served on the editorial boards of leading statistics journals. She is currently president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics. Her research interests include likelihood theory, the analysis of functional neuroimaging data, and the foundations of statistics.

    Web: http://stat.uga.edu/directory/people/nicole-lazar


  • WK
    Jane J. Lee

    Senior news editor, Americas, Nature magazine, Washington, D.C.

    Jane is a news editor at Nature. She has a masters degree in marine biology from UCLA and is an alumnae of the science writing program at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to joining Nature, Jane was a reporter and editor with National Geographic covering biology, ecology and atmospheric sciences. Her work has also appeared in Science and the San Jose Mercury News.

    Pitching guidelines:

    For any pitch, I want to know why we should tell the story now, why the subject is unusual or important, and why the piece would suit our core audience — working scientists. We love exclusive stories or unique angles, and often run pieces that use an individual event to illustrate a broader trend.

    News briefs and news stories run anywhere from 200-1,200 words, with most pieces running between 400-800 words. (Our features section commissions longer pieces, up to about 3,000 words. I do not edit features, but can connect you with a features editor.)

    Please limit your news pitches to no more than two paragraphs. If your pitch is time-sensitive, flagging that in the subject line of your e-mail will help us both.

    Some of Nature's favorite topics include:

    • surprising or counterintuitive results, or those with serious policy implications for the general public or research community
    • a shift in thinking about a topic or field
    • a major debate or controversy that involves scientists, or scientific/science-policy issues
    • funding increases or decreases, especially those that will affect a whole field or country
    • openings or closures of world-class research facilities
    • research fraud or misconduct
    • policies that affect how scientists work day-to-day, on topics such as lab/field safety, higher education, or academic publishing

    I recommend scanning through some of our recent news coverage before your first pitch to get a sense of our tone and approach to news: http://www.nature.com/news.

    A note on single-study stories: We rarely commission stories on papers in big-name journals — such as Nature, Science, PNAS, and PLoS — from freelance pitches. But we do love freelancers who ferret out interesting studies from subject-specific journals (such as the Astrophysical Journal, the AGU journals, the Proceedings of the Royal Society, and Current Biology — to name just a few!) or pre-print servers (bioRxiv, arXiv).


  • WK
    Stephanie M. Lee

    Science reporter, BuzzFeed News, San Francisco, Calif.

    Stephanie M. Lee writes about science, health, technology, commerce, and society. Her feature and investigative stories are about scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest; the research reproducibility crisis in food, fitness, and psychology; the online dissemination of scientific misinformation; the business of dieting and wellness; genetics; biohacking; and digital health, food, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining BuzzFeed News in 2015, she was a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she covered biotech, health, and local politics.

    Twitter: @stephaniemlee
    Email: stephanie.lee@buzzfeed.com


  • NH
    Karen Lips

    Professor of biology, University of Maryland

    Karen Lips is a field ecologist who studies how global change (wildlife disease, climate change, land use) affects biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles in Latin America and the U.S. A primary focus of her research is determining the ecological and environmental factors that influence amphibian species' response to disease, and how that information might be used in conservation and recovery plans. She is interested in how the loss of biodiversity affects communities and ecosystems, and how human activities contribute to the spread of disease and loss of biodiversity. Before joining the University of Maryland, Lips was a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, where she worked in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and served as an Embassy Science Fellow in Colombia. Lips is a research associate at the U.S. Museum of Natural History, an AAAS Leshner Leadership Public Engagement Fellow, an AAAS fellow, an ESA fellow, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow. She was awarded the President's Award of the Chicago Zoological Society, a Bay and Paul Biodiversity Leadership Award, the Sabin Amphibian Conservation Award in 2012, and the inaugural UMD Impact Communicator Award. She holds a BS in zoology from the University of South Florida and a PhD in biology from the University of Miami. Lips is interested in increasing engagement on environmental issues, promoting scientific leadership, and fostering international scientific collaborations.

    Twitter: @KWren88
    Web: http://lipslab.weebly.com/


  • WK
    Wendy Lu

    Journalist, freelance, New York, N.Y.

    Wendy is a national reporter and global speaker on disability in the media based in New York City. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Teen Vogue, Bustle and many others. As a journalist, Wendy writes about a wide range of health and social issues within the disability community, including topics like education, family, relationships and policy. She holds a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School and a bachelor's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism. 

    Twitter: @wendyluwrites
    Email: wendyluwrites@gmail.com


  • NH
    Jonathan Lynch

    University Distinguished Professor of plant science, Penn State University

    Jonathan Lynch's research focuses on understanding the basis of plant adaptation to drought and low soil fertility. This encompasses physiology, genetics, and ecology, centered on organismic processes. Lynch completed his Ph.D. and postgraduate research in plant physiology at the University of California, Davis, and continued his research at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia before joining the Penn State faculty in 1991. He has been honored for his work by the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the government of China. In the U.S., he is a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and last year was awarded the Dennis Hoagland Award by the American Society of Plant Biologists. He holds a Chair in Root Biology at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. and serves on the Advisory Council of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

    Web: http://roots.psu.edu/


  • WK
    Apoorva Mandavilli

    Founding editor and editor-in-chief of Spectrum; science journalist, New York, N.Y.

    Apoorva Mandavilli is an award-winning science journalist. She is founding editor and editor-in-chief of Spectrum, the leading site for autism news, for which she frequently approves reporting trips for both staffers and freelancers. She also writes for the New York Times, the Atlantic and other publications, and has reported from Asia and Africa.

    Email: apoorva.mandavilli@gmail.com
    Twitter: @apoorva_nyc


  • NH
    Marilynn Marchione

    Chief medical writer, The Associated Press

    Marilynn Marchione joined the Associated Press in 2004 after 28 years as a reporter and editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Akron Beacon Journal. As the AP's chief medical writer, she covers medical meetings and looks for consumer-oriented stories with an eye for news you can use. In 2010, she won CASW's Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. Her work has also been recognized by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association and others. She has held numerous fellowships, including a four-month Knight epidemiology fellowship at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her journalism degree is from Kent State University.

    Twitter: @MMarchioneAP
    Web: https://apnews.com/


  • WK
    Betsy Mason

    Science journalist, freelance, San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

    Betsy Mason is a freelance writer and editor specializing in science and cartography based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Betsy was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2015-2016. Previously she was senior editor at Wired in charge of online science coverage from 2008 to 2015. She has worked as the science and national laboratories reporter at the Contra Costa Times where she won the American Geophysical Union's David Perlman award for breaking news for her coverage of earthquake risk in the Bay Area. She is the current secretary of the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

    Betsy is coauthor with Greg Miller of "All Over the Map," an illustrated book about maps and cartography (National Geographic, 2018). Her work appears in numerous publications including National Geographic, Science, Nature, Wired, Science News, Scientific American, Outside, Discover, and New Scientist.

    Email: elmason@nasw.org