The Fresno State Institute for Media and Public trust will hold a seminar on science and environmental reporting beginning at 6 p.m. on April 9 at Fresno State. The keynote speaker will be Pulitzer Prize winner and author Deborah Blum, who now is the director of the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The title of her speech is “Science Journalism in the Age of Mistrust.” The program is free and open to the public.
The event will be held in the Peters Educational Center, which is located on the east end of the campus inside the Student Recreation Center. The Rec Center is just west of the Save Mart Center at Woodrow and Shaw avenues.
In addition to the speech by Blum, the seminar will feature a panel of top science journalists discussing the challenges of covering science and environmental issues in today’s divided political environment. The panel also will have a representative from the science community to discuss how scientists view media coverage of their subject area.
The panelists will include Bill Manny, a veteran science editor now working for Idaho Public Television; Mark Grossi, a longtime Fresno science and environmental writer, and Kerry Klein, of Valley Public Radio, who has a science and journalism background. Dr. Joy J. Goto, who chairs the Chemistry Department at Fresno State, also will be on the panel.
Blum, a former Fresno Bee reporter, is considered one of the best science journalists in the nation. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee for her series, “The Monkey Wars,” which explored the complex ethical and moral questions surrounding primate research.
Blum is the author of six books, including The Poison Squad (2018), and The Poisoner’s Handbook (2010). She is a former president of the National Association of Science Writers, was a member of the governing board of the World Federation of Science Writers, and currently serves on the board of advisers of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Blum is co-editor of the book A Field Guide for Science Writers. In 2015, she was selected as the fourth director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.
Valley PBS is a sponsor of the seminar, as well as the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State, the Media, Communications and Journalism Department, The Collegian and Fresno State Focus.