• Jennifer “Jef” Akst

    News Editor, The Scientist

    Jennifer "Jef" Akst got her master's degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf Coast of Tampa and performing behavioral experiments at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, she left research to pursue a career in science writing. She has been with The Scientist magazine for 3 years, where she now serves as the News Editor, finding and editing news and opinion stories for the publication’s website.


  • Paul Anastas

    Director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering; Teresa and H. John Heinz III professor in the practice of chemistry for the environment, Yale University

    Paul Anastas trained as a synthetic organic chemist, earning his PhD at Brandeis. Focusing on sustainability science and moving among academia, industry and government, he established the field of green chemistry, articulating its principles in books that include Benign by Design and Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice (John Warner, co-author).


  • Christie Aschwanden

    Freelance journalist, blogger at LastWordOnNothing.com

    Christie Aschwanden is an independent journalist, essayist and science nerd. She blogs about science at LastWordOnNothing.com and has written for more than 50 publications, including Smithsonian, the New York Times, Slate, Men's Journal, Mother Jones, NPR.org, and O, the Oprah magazine. She was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2011 and a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting fellow in 2007. She lives on a small farm in rural western Colorado with her winemaker husband and raises heritage poultry in her spare time.


  • Adam Aston

    Freelance writer, ghost writer

    A former editor at Business Week, Adam made the transition from staff job to freelancer specializing in the environment.


  • Ralph Baric

    Associate research professor of microbiology and immunology, School of Medicine; professor of epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    After Ralph Baric attended N.C. State University on a swimming scholarship, he stuck around to complete a PhD in microbiology in 1983, the year the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was isolated. He is known for his research on the replication and pathogenesis of coronaviruses, which include SARS, and more recently of noroviruses such as the Norwalk virus. His work has crossed the boundaries of microbiology, virology, immunology and epidemiology, looking especially at the population genetics of viruses to find the molecular building blocks for more effective vaccines.


  • Karl Leif Bates

    Director of Research Communications, Duke University

    A 15-year veteran of newspaper journalism and former winner of the AAAS science writing award, Karl now edits and writes research news from all units of Duke University, including Arts & Sciences, the Fuqua School of Business, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Pratt School of Engineering and Duke Medicine.

    He's the editor of Duke Research, an online magazine, bi-weekly email, and team-written blog featuring multimedia storytelling.


  • Deborah Blum

    Author (latest title: “The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York”), blogger (Elemental.)

    Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer-Prize winning science writer and the author of five books, most recently “The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York,” a New York Times paperback best seller. She writes for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Scientific American and Time magazine. She blogs about chemistry, culture (and the occasional murder) for Wired Science Blogs at Elemental.


  • Rick Borchelt

    Special Assistant for Public Affairs, National Cancer Institute



  • Ken Bost

    Belk Distinguished Professor of biology; chief scientific officer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and SoyMeds Inc.

    Ken Bost grew up near Concord, N.C., and received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979. He left the state to pursue a doctoral degree in immunology from Ole Miss Medical School. After rising through the academic ranks at UTMB-Galveston, then UAB Medical Center, and finally Tulane Medical Center, where he was a professor of microbiology and immunology, he returned to N.C. in 1998 as the Belk Distinguished Professor of Biology at UNC-Charlotte. In 2005 Ken Bost and Kenneth Piller co-founded SoyMeds, Inc. as a UNC-Charlotte startup company.


  • Curtis Brainard

    Science editor/writer, Columbia Journalism Review

    Curtis Brainard has covered science, environment, and medical news for the Columbia Journalism Review since 2006. In January 2008, he launched The Observatory, CJR's first fulltime department dedicated to critically analyzing science coverage in the media as well as the opportunities and challenges facing science journalists today. Brainard's work has been commended in The New York Times, Wired, Mother Jones, and many other publications.