As an assistant professor in the School of Communication at American University, Matthew Nisbet studies scientific and environmental controversies. Part of his work involves examining the interactions between experts, journalists, and the public. He tracks these issues in his blog, Framing Science (http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science). In "The Future of Public Engagement", he and Dietram Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, write about how scientists and scientific organizations should communicate controversial issues to the media and public. "Certainly the [framing] research is very valuable" for helping scientists to engage a nonscientific audience, he says.
A correspondent for The Scientist for the last two years, Melissa Lee Phillips is a full-time freelance science writer. Her stories have appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives, BioScience, and New Scientist. Between 2001 and 2004, she worked in a neurobiology laboratory at the University of Washington...
In an exclusive article published in The Scientist online in July, Frank Douglas described his reasons for resigning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - including the institution's unwillingness to address minority discrimination. This summer, Douglas, who holds a PhD in physical chemistry and an MD from Cornell University, stepped down from his post as a faculty member and executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation. The article quickly received a number of comments, which evolved into a discussion about diversity at schools (see "Discrimination in Academia"). "From my perspective, people are expressing their views, and that, to me, is a success," Douglas says.
Adrianne Noe, director of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology's National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC, joins The Scientist as a contributing editor for the Foundations page. She will also help create multimedia content for the Web site, based on the museum's collections. Noe has a PhD in history from the University of Delaware and has taught the history of technology, medicine, and military history. By looking at historic objects in the life sciences, "you can learn how that creator or user thought about the world," she says.