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New York Times Science Reporters, Harvard Science Historian to Join Claudia Dreifus for Conversations on Science Journalism During COVID-19

Join the country's top science historians and reporters alongside Claudia Dreifus, SPS Lecturer in Professional Studies and contributor to the Times Science section, for Reporter Nights at SPS: Science Journalism in the Time of COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 21 at 7:10 p.m. EDT

"Distrusting Science: How We Got This Pandemic"

Register to Attend

Over the last twenty years, Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard University, has been writing widely read books about the political consequences of distorting scientific knowledge.   

Dr. Oreskes' best-seller, "Merchants of Doubt," coauthored with Erik M. Conway showed how a group of prestigious researchers misled the public on the dangers of smoking to further an anti-regulation and anti-government political agenda.   

Her most recent work, "Why Trust Science?" was written as a response to the growing impact of climate change deniers and anti-vaccine activists.   

Published by Princeton University Press before the CoVid-19 pandemic took hold, Dr. Oreskes warned of the dangers of an increasing public distrust of science.   How much of the current pandemic can be attributed to this distrust of the knowledge of experts? What can the scientific community do counter the false information spread by some political leaders and by some among the citizenry?

Naomi Oreskes will be interviewed by science journalist Claudia Dreifus, an instructor in the Masters of Sustainability Management program at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies and an adjunct professor of Technology and Media at  Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.  

She is the political and cultural interviewer of the New York Review of Books, The Daily.

Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. EDT

"Good News From Bad News: What The COVID-19 Crisis Can Teach Us About Future Climate Change Calamities" with John Schwartz

Register to Attend

John Schwartz, a reporter on the climate desk at The New York Times, covers disasters, natural and otherwise. Mr. Schwartz will speak about how lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic could prove useful in mitigating the effects of climate change-related disasters.

The events will explore the pandemic’s origins and policy options, issues in science communications highlighted by the crisis, and how lessons learned from the pandemic can be applied to climate change-related disasters. Given the importance and relevance of the topic, SPS welcomes you to this class-in-session. While only selected students from the course will have the opportunity to engage with the presenters, all attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for consideration in advance.

Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. EDT

"I Cover Pandemics" with Donald G. McNeil, Jr.
Register to Attend

Donald G. McNeil, Jr., a senior New York Times correspondent specializing in global health, has reported for two decades on epidemics and how different societies respond to them. He will address how the Coronavirus pandemic began and what kinds of policies might curb it. He will also discuss the special science communication issues that the COVID-19 crisis illuminates: Is there enough science literacy among ordinary beat reporters? How does a journalist cover a complicated science story at a moment when both science and journalism are disparaged by political leaders? What can scientists do to tell their story better?


For questions, please contact Samantha Ostrowski, Interim Assistant Director, Graduate Programs in Sustainability Management and Science, at sostrowski [[at]] ei [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.