Milchberg Endowed Lecture : The Public Relations Machine in Science, w/James Glanz, NY Times

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
4:00 p.m.
1412 Toll Physics Bldg.
Anne Suplee
301 405 5944

Irving and Renee Milchberg Endowed Lecture 

James Glanz of The New York Times will discuss “The Public Relations Machine in Science: A Self-Inflicted Wound?”  

Scientists have legitimate reasons to worry that reporters will not cover important research, will not accurately portray complex findings, or will sensationalize breakthroughs that require caveats. Unfortunately, the P.R. apparatus that scientists created and support has made the situation far worse. The science P.R. machine disincentivizes the kind of ambitious reporting that receives prominence – and therefore readers – in major publications, and drives out talented journalists who refuse to be herded by embargoes and other restrictions. I will discuss how by trying to promote and protect their work, scientists have instead damaged science journalism and helped to erode public confidence in science itself.

James Glanz grew up in radio and television stations as the son of a sportscaster and DJ in the Midwest. Dead broke in college, he talked his way into a job at a physics lab, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton. He then turned to journalism, and at Science magazine broke stories like the discovery of dark energy in the universe. At The New York Times, he covered the collapse of the twin towers on Sept. 11 and spent two years reporting from ground zero. In 2003, with Eric Lipton, he published City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center. He has also been the Times’s Baghdad bureau chief and has covered disasters ranging from the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral to the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jetliners.

Audience: Public 

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