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Editing Controversial and “Controversial” Science
There are some areas of science where the controversies are real and fierce — what was really the downfall of the dinosaurs? — and then there are scientific “controversies” ginned up for political or economic purposes. Learn how to tell the difference and how to responsibly convey that to your audience.

Jul 15, 2021 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Laura Helmuth
Editor in Chief @Scientific American
Laura Helmuth is the editor in chief of Scientific American and a former editor at The Washington Post, National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, and Science magazines. A former president of the National Association of Science Writers, she serves on the boards of SciLine, Spectrum, High Country News, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication. She is a birder and on Twitter way too much, at @LauraHelmuth.
Melba Newsome
Freelance Journalist
Melba Newsome is a veteran freelance journalist and editor in Charlotte, North Carolina with more than 20 years of experience reporting on news and general interest topics. Over the past year, she has reported extensively on the physiological, emotional, and societal impact of the coronavirus. She received a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting to conduct in- depth reporting on COVID-19 in the Black Community. In the past decade, her reporting has focused primarily on education and health, with a concentration on disparities and rural health. A feature in O, The Oprah Magazine about genetic testing earned the June Roth Award for Medical Journalism. She has also published in Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News, Prevention, The Hechinger Report, and The New York Times. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Henderson State University.
Kendra Pierre-Louis
Climate Reporter @Gimlet/Spotify
Kendra Pierre-Louis is a climate reporter with the Gimlet/Spotify podcast How to Save a Planet. Prior to joining Gimlet she was a climate reporter with The New York Times, and Popular Science. She is also the author of the book, "Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet." Kendra has a Master's in Science Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in Sustainable Development with a focus on Policy Analysis and Advocacy from the SIT Graduate Institute, and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University. When she’s not achieving dramatic feats like living in France without eating butter, Kendra can often be found on Twitter railing against mayo.