Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum to deliver keynote speech at science journalism seminar

Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum

A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that Americans are most likely to get science news from a general news outlet, but tend to think of specialty sources such as documentaries, science magazines and museums as more reliable in reporting facts. The study found that over 40 percent of people saw significant problems with how scientific research issues where communicated. When pressed, over 70 percent of Americans put the blame on the way media covers scientific research.

The Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust will hold a science and environmental reporting seminar featuring one of the top science reporters in the country, Deborah Blum. The former Fresno Bee reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner and director of the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will deliver her keynote speech “Science Journalism in the Age of Mistrust” at a science and environmental reporting seminar at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 9 in the Peters Education Center Auditorium in the Student Recreation Center Building.  The program is free and open to the public. Parking is $4 in lots P3, P2 or P5.

The seminar will also feature a panel of top science journalists and a representative from the scientific community discussing the challenges of covering science and environmental issues in today’s divided political environment. Panelists include Bill Manny, a science journalist for Idaho Public Television; Mark Grossi, a longtime Fresno science and environmental writer, Kerry Klein, of Valley Public Radio, who has a science and journalism background, and Dr. Joy Goto, who chairs the Chemistry Department at Fresno State.

Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum

Blum was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her Sacramento Bee series “The Monkey Wars,” which explored the complex ethical and moral questions surrounding primate research.

She has authored six books including “The Poison Squad” and “The Poisoner’s Handbook”. She is a former president of the National Association of Science Writers, was a member of the governing board of the World Federation of Science Journalist, and currently serves on the board of advisers of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Blum is co-editor of the book “A Field Guide for Science Writers”. In 2015, she was selected as the fourth director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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