In Conversation with Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist and author of popular science books, The Poisoner’s Handbook, Ghost Hunters, Love at Goon Park, Sex on the Brain, and The Monkey Wars. She has also published an e-book titled Angel Killer and her most recent work, The Poisoner’s Handbook, was adapted into a documentary film of the same name. Blum calls herself ‘a giant walking book brain’ as she works on her next book project exploring the history of food safety.

Until mid-2015 Blum was a Professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in USA – the same university she had graduated from years ago. ‘It felt very strange to go back as a professor where I had been a student. Now I have been a professor there so long that it feels strange to go to another job,’ Blum says as she prepares for her new role as the Director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, for which she has big plans.

Read the full interview in Current Science.

Photo credit: Mark Bennett

Taking science to the public

As part of its Founder’s Day celebrations, the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, recently organized a two-day seminar titled ‘When Science Meets the Public: Bridging the Gap’. Scientists, social scientists, policy makers and journalists were the predominant participants in what turned out to be a series of heated debates, with each party choosing sides, yet working towards a common goal – taking science to the public…

The participants called for a press office at every institution. The need for a central online science news service for India was also mooted. It was said that science communication courses, which currently do not lay emphasis on the journalism aspect, should be revamped. Scientists should be briefed on how media works and journalists introduced to hands-on laboratory science for a peaceful co-existence.

Read the full report at Current Science.