Panel of national journalists to discuss communicating science in the media

October 03, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A panel discussion on science communications and making research relevant in the media will feature national journalists Bob Marshall, Amanda Paulson, Nancy Shute and Ashley Smart. It will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Pike Auditorium (22 Biobehavioral Health Building). The event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session and a reception will follow the plenary.

The discussion will also be broadcast live. Viewers can participate in the live broadcast by sending questions to Additionally, a recording of the panel discussion will be available.

Bob Marshall is a New Orleans journalist whose reporting on Louisiana coastal issues at The Times-Picayune and The Lens has been recognized by two Pulitzer Prizes; the John H. Oakes Prize for Distinguished Environmental Reporting from Columbia University; the Keck Award for best science reporting from the National Academies of Sciences, and many others. In April 2017 Marshall returned to The Times-Picayune to begin a regular op-ed on environmental issues. In previous lives Marshall’s work as a sportswriter led to induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, while his achievements as an outdoors writer resulted in selection for the Circle of Chiefs, the highest award for conservation writing from the Outdoors Writers Association of America. Marshall lives in his native New Orleans with his wife Marie Gould, founder of Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Tours.

Amanda Paulson has been a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor for 17 years, where she currently covers environment, science, energy and climate news from her home in Boulder, Colorado. In the past, she has covered a wide variety of beats, including education, politics, immigration and social issues, and she was the Monitor’s Midwest bureau chief, based in Chicago, from 2003 to 2011. In the 2015–16 academic year, Paulson took a sabbatical from the Monitor to be a Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1997.

Nancy Shute is an editor and reporter for NPR's science desk, where she covers breaking news and features on a wide range of topics, including public health, the environment and research news. She is the editor of NPR's flagship health and medicine blog, Shots, and was one of the founders of NPR's food and agriculture, The Salt, which won a 2012 James Beard award. Prior to joining NPR, Shute was assistant managing editor in charge of science and technology coverage at U.S. News & World Report. She is a past president of the National Association of Science Writers, the world's largest science journalism organization, and has led training workshops on science communication for many universities and scientific organizations. Nancy holds an AB in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and a master's degree in studies in law from Yale Law School. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Kamchatka, Russia, where she founded the region's first bilingual newspaper.

Ashley Smart is the features editor at Physics Today, where he edits and writes about all manner of physical sciences, great and small — from astronomy and climate to nanomaterials and quantum systems. Smart was a 2015-16 Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT and is co-founding editor of the science news blog Before becoming a science journalist, he studied granular systems and complex fluids as a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech and as a graduate student at Northwestern University.

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center are co-sponsors of the event.

For more information on the event and to register, please visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 03, 2017