Caltech to Host Second Annual Media and Science Symposium
PASADENA—A group of distinguished print, television, and radio journalists will convene at the California Institute of Technology on Thursday, April 20, to participate in Caltech's second annual media and science symposium, Reporting Science: Fact, Skepticism, and Controversy.
Caltech was inspired to host this symposium by a combination of ongoing changes in the economy, in government, in public opinion, and in the news media that create a rapidly shifting landscape of both new risks and increased opportunities. In this changing society, effectively communicating the importance of the research process and the results of scientific and medical studies has taken on a new urgency.
In the morning session, seven panelists will take part in a discussion, moderated by veteran KNBC-TV news anchor Jess Marlow, of the difficulties and rewards of informing the public about science news. The audience, which will include scientists, engineers, and communications students and professionals from colleges, nonprofit organizations, corporations, hospitals, and research institutions, will be invited to ask questions and voice opinions as well.
The panelists will include Deborah Blum, science writer for the Sacramento Bee; K. C. Cole, science writer at the Los Angeles Times ; David Goodstein, vice provost and professor of physics at Caltech; Larry Mantle, news and program director at KPCC radio; J. Madeleine Nash, science correspondent at Time magazine; Art Ulene, MD, medical journalist; and Jonathan Ward, president of Cronkite Ward & Co.
Following the discussion, the panelists and luncheon guests will adjourn to Caltech's faculty club for lunch and an address by Robert Bazell, chief science and medical correspondent for NBC News. Bazell will discuss Scientists and Journalists: An Interaction Fueled by Cold Fusion, and illustrate his talk with video clips from his news reports.
Following are more detailed biographical sketches of the participants:
Robert Bazell—As the chief science and medical correspondent for NBC News, Bazell has reported on science, technology, and medicine throughout the world. He has received numerous awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished achievement and meritorious service in broadcasting, and an Emmy Award for a three-part series on the brain, which appeared on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Bazell is a 1967 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UC Berkeley, with a BA in biochemistry. He did graduate work in biology at the University of Sussex, England, and earned a doctoral candidate degree in immunology at Berkeley. Bazell began his journalism career writing for Science magazine, and has also worked at the New York Post and WNBC-TV.
Deborah Blum—A science writer at theSacramento Bee since 1984, Blum has tackled numerous major projects, including a 1991 series about primate research called The Monkey Wars. This series, published last year as a book by the same name, won many awards, including the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting and the 1992 AAAS-Westinghouse Science Journalism Award for best science writing in newspapers of over 100,000 circulation. Blum has also explored chronic disease, nuclear power, nuclear weapons research and politics, and ozone depletion. Before coming to Sacramento, Blum wrote for the Fresno Bee and for several papers in the South. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude from the University of Georgia, and earned her MA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
K. C. Cole—Author and essayist K. C. Cole recently joined the Los Angeles Times as a science writer. Previously, she was primary editor for physics, astronomy, chemistry, and mathematics at Discover magazine. She has written six nonfiction books and collections of essays, including Sympathetic Vibrations: Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life, and has contributed to dozens of publications, including the New York Times, theWashington Post, Newsweek, Lear's, Ms., and Esquire. She has also lectured, taught, and consulted on science writing at schools and organizations ranging from Wesleyan University, Yale, and UC Santa Cruz to the National Science Foundation, the IBM Gallery of Science and Art, and the Superconducting Super Collider. She received her BA from Barnard College.
David Goodstein—Goodstein is vice provost and professor of physics and applied physics at Caltech, and this year was named the Frank J. Gilloon Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor. His area of expertise is condensed-matter physics, especially two-dimensional matter and phase transitions, about which he has published more than a hundred research articles and written a book, States of Matter. Goodstein is known to hundreds of thousands of young people as the host of The Mechanical Universe, a 52-part college physics telecourse based on his popular lectures at Caltech. Goodstein also writes frequent opinion pieces on such scientific issues as plagiarism, science education and literacy, and the scientific job market. He earned his BS at Brooklyn College and his PhD at the University of Washington.
Larry Mantle—In addition to serving as program and news director at KPCC, Pasadena's National Public Radio affiliate, Mantle hosts AirTalk, a nightly two-hour interview and call-in program that covers topics from science to politics, religion, medicine, the arts, and human behavior. He is the recipient of numerous Golden Mike, Associated Press, and Los Angeles Press Club awards. Mantle earned a BA in psychology from Southern California College in Costa Mesa, California. He joined KPCC in 1983 and created AirTalk in March 1985.
Jess Marlow—Marlow, the coanchor of the 6 p.m. weekday edition of Channel 4 News, has been reporting news for local television for almost 30 years. He visited the former Soviet Union in 1989 and documented the trip in a 10-part series that won an L.A.-area Emmy Award. He has received many other prizes, including six Golden Mikes from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California, and seven other local Emmy Awards. In 1985, Marlow visited Vietnam for the 10th anniversary of the war's end, and in 1984 he went to Cuba to profile the country 25 years after the revolution. His reporting on both these trips won L.A.-area Emmys. Prior to settling in Los Angeles, Marlow was with KNTV in San Jose, California, and with WHBF in Rock Island, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois.
J. Madeleine Nash—Nash specializes in science and technology reporting for Time magazine and is a two-time winner of the AAAS-Westinghouse Science Journalism Award for magazine writing. A 1965 magna cum laude history graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Nash joined Time first as a clip girl, became a secretary, and within a year was working as a researcher reporter. She worked as a full-time stringer for Time's Chicago and Bonn, Germany, bureaus, and became a staff correspondent assigned to the Midwest in 1974. A senior correspondent since 1987, Nash has been a principle contributor to many science cover stories, including "Fusion or Illusion" (May 8, 1989), "Genetics: the Future is Now" (January 17, 1994), and "Hope in the War Against Cancer" (April 25, 1994).
Art Ulene, MD—A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a medical journalist, Ulene has spearheaded the use of television to promote public health. He has written more than 40 books and home video/audio programs, and serves as chair of the board of trustees of the USC/Norris Cancer Center. But he is probably best known for his syndicated television feature, Feeling Fine, his weekly appearances on ABC's HOME, and his regular contributions to NBC's Today show. Ulene earned both his bachelor's degree and his medical degree at UCLA.
Jonathan Ward—Ward is the president and cofounder of Cronkite Ward & Co., where he continues his 36-year career producing informative and educational programming for television. Cronkite Ward & Co. has produced such thoughtful programs as The Great Books, the award-winning Holocaust: In Memory of Millions, The Cronkite Reports, and the series Understanding: Science, all of which aired on the Discovery Channel. Before starting Cronkite Ward & Co., Ward spent 17 years at CBS News, where he was executive producer of Face the Nation and later of Nightwatch with Charlie Rose. He also wrote, directed, and produced CBS Reports: 1984 Revisited, which aired in 1983 and examined the warnings of Orwell's book. He attended Grinnell College and the University of Illinois.
Written by John Avery