Distinguished visiting lecturers are a key part of the SciCom curriculum. They teach detailed seminars, in person or via Skype. Many guests meet with students to provide editorial feedback.
Visitors are chosen for their desire to help new science writers and for their national prominence. Many students maintain contact with them after graduating from the program.
In 2011-12, the following visitors gave seminars and met privately with students or edited their work:
- Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist contributing writer and author of noted book The Edge of Physics. Subject: Proposing book ideas to literary agents and crafting "pre-proposals" for review.
- Molly Bentley, executive producer of "Big Picture Science" from the SETI Institute in Mountain View. Subject: Podcasts to accompany feature articles for Science Notes 2012.
- Rhett Butler, creator and editor of the international news site Mongabay.com. Subject: News articles about recent papers in environment and conservation.
- David Cohn, founder and editor, Spot.us community reporting site, San Francisco. Subject: Social media reporting projects.
- Jeff Gottlieb, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, Los Angeles Times. Subject: Fall-quarter news stories, all published in regional media.
- Evan Haddingham, executive producer, NOVA (WGBH-TV, Boston). Subject: Spring-quarter science videos, published on Vimeo.
- Charles Hanley, veteran Associated Press reporter with a special focus on climate change. Subject: Spring-quarter investigative and policy reports.
- Betsy Mason, science editor, Wired.com. Subject: Pitching stories and interning at Wired Science.
- Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news, New York Times. Subject: Data-driven reporting and spring-quarter investigative reports.
- Gordy Slack, Oakland-based freelance writer for Salon.com, Los Angeles Times, WIRED, and San Francisco Magazine; author of The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything, on the intelligent design trial in Dover, PA. Subject: Feature articles for Science Notes 2012.
- David Rains Wallace, natural history book author and essayist. Subject: Winter-quarter science and nature essays.
These guests spoke in class sessions during 2011-12:
- Brendan Borrell, New York-based freelance contributor to Scientific American and other publications
- Andy Boyles, science editor, Highlights for Children
- Lizzie Buchen, Roberta Kwok, and Dana Mackenzie, SciCom graduates and successful Bay Area freelance journalists
- James Chadwick, first amendment attorney and media law consultant, Palo Alto
- David Harris, news editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Laura Helmuth, senior science editor for Smithsonian (and now for Slate.com)
- Jennifer Kahn, San Francisco-based freelance and award-winning contributing editor for WIRED; also writes for The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Outside
- Greg Miller, San Francisco-based neuroscience correspondent and West Coast news reporter for Science
- Joe Palca, science correspondent for National Public Radio
- Kendall Powell, Colorado-based freelance journalist and expert in contracts language and fee negotiations
- Paul Rogers, environment reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and managing editor of QUEST, a science documentary and multimedia series produced by KQED public television, San Francisco
- Craig Rosa and Jenny Hatfield, producers, KQED QUEST, San Francisco
- Ivan Semeniuk, U.S. news editor for Nature in Washington, D.C.
- Emily Sohn, Minneapolis-based science writer and children's author
- Alexandra Witze, Boulder-based associate editor, Science News
- Ed Yong, U.K.-based science journalist and internationally known blogger for Discover
The SciCom visiting lecturers program is funded by a generous grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundations.