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Panel to Explore Science in the American Media At Pomona College Event

Skeptic Magazine’s Dr. Michael Shermer, National Public Radio’s Joe Palca, and cultural anthropologist Scott Frank will talk about “Science in the American Media” in a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 15, beginning at 7 p.m.

The event will be held in the Pomona College Hahn Building, room 101 (420 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont) and is sponsored by the Pomona College Hart Institute of American History, Harvey Mudd College Hixson Forum for Responsive Science and Engineering and the Claremont Colleges Science, Technology and Society program. There is no cost to attend.

During the event, each speaker will explore one aspect of “Science in the American Media” for 20 minutes. The panel will then take questions from the audience.

Scott Frank, a cultural anthropologist who focuses on the ethnographic study of mass media, particularly the culture of the Hollywood entertainment industry, will speak on “The Place of Science in Hollywood Today.” Scott has worked at the Museum of Television and Radio and is currently writing Lab Coats in the Dream Factory, the definitive treatment of science in Hollywood films.

Joe Palca, senior science editor at National Public Radio, will speak on “Covering Science stories for a National Radio Audience.” Since 1992, he has covered a range of science topics for NPR, everything from biomedical research to astronomy. In addition to his science reporting, Palca is backup host for Talk of the Nation Science Friday. Palca is a Pomona College graduate and has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A former president of the National Association of Science Writers, he is Hoover Media Fellow at the Hoover Institute in Palo Alto and graduate of Pomona College.

Dr. Michael Shermer will speak on “Conveying Information about Science in Print and on Television.” Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine and director of The Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, host of Skeptics’ Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, co-host and producer of the Family Channel television series, “Exploring the Unknown”, and host of a radio show on science for KPCC Radio. An alumnus of Claremont Graduate University, he has authored several books and is a frequent speaker on the subject of skepticism on network, cable and public television.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.