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Science and news: A marriage of convenience
Joe Palca is a familiar voice bringing news about scientific discoveries to National Public Radio's millions of listeners. In this free public lecture, he will talk about stories he's covered, the stories behind the stories, and what goes in to turning a piece of fundamental research into a news story for a nation of non-scientists.
Palca earned a Ph.D. in psychology at UC Santa Cruz and has worked in journalism since 1982, in television, print and since 1992 at National Public Radio where he has covered a wide range science topics from astrophysics to zoology. He occasionally fills in as guest host on Talk of the Nation Science Friday. In October 2009, Palca took a six-month leave from NPR to become science writer in residence at the Huntington Library and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Palca has won numerous awards, including the National Academies Communications Award, the Science-in-Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers, the American Chemical Society James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Prize, and the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Writing.
He is the co-author with Flora Lichtman of Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us (Wiley, 2011). One of his current projects for NPR is "Joe's Big Idea," a series that examines where big ideas in science come from, and how an idea becomes a discovery.