Visiting Instructors

Laura Poppick '13 and guest editor Anil Ananthaswamy discuss Laura's book proposal, May 2013.

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 2013-14, 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 2014.
  • Rhett Butler, creator and editor of the international news site Subject: News articles about recent papers in environment and conservation.
  • Ingfei Chen, Santa Cruz-based freelance contributor, New York Times and Discover. Subject: Profiles of Bay Area scientists.
  • Lisa Krieger, science reporter, San Jose Mercury News. Subject: News features for regional publication.
  • Michelle Nijhuis, freelance journalist and reporter, High Country News. Subject: Science-based personal essays.
  • Craig Rosa, producer, KQED QUEST, San Francisco. Subject: Spring-quarter science videos, published on Vimeo.
  • Cindy Royal, digital journalist and Stanford Knight Journalism Fellow. Subject: Professional portfolio website design.
  • Gordy Slack, Oakland-based freelance journalist and neuroscience writer; author of The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything, on the intelligent design trial in Dover, PA. Subject: Feature articles for Science Notes 2014.
  • Paiching Wei, graphics director, San Jose Mercury News. Subject: Infographics for Science Notes 2014.
  • Ben Welsh, investigative journalist, Los Angeles Times. Subject: Spring-quarter investigative reports.

These guests spoke in class sessions during 2013-14:
  • Sarah Benson, Hawaii-based freelance journalist for Science, HHMI Bulletin, and others
  • Erika Engelhaupt, Departments Editor, Science News
  • Melissae Fellet, Thomas Hayden, and Jessica Marshall, freelance writing panelists
  • Conn Hallinan, independent journalist and First Amendment expert
  • Greg Miller, senior science writer, WIRED
  • Leigh Poitinger, research director, San Jose Mercury News
  • Kendall Powell, Colorado-based freelance journalist and expert in contracts language and fee negotiations
  • Paul Rogers, environment reporter, San Jose Mercury News, and managing editor, KQED QUEST, San Francisco
  • Ivan Semeniuk, science reporter, Toronto Globe and Mail, and former U.S. news editor, Nature
  • Erik Vance, Mexico City–based freelance science journalist
  • Pamela Weintraub, editor for Aeon and Discover
  • Alexandra Witze, Boulder-based contributor to Nature and Science News
  • Ed Yong, U.K.-based science journalist and internationally known blogger for National Geographic

The SciCom visiting lecturers program is partially underwritten by support from The David and Dana Loury Foundation. During 2011-2014, the lecturers were funded by a grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundations.