Sheril Kirshenbaum – Science Politics Storytelling

Sheril Kirshenbaum is executive director of Science Debate, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization working to get every candidate on record on science policy. She works to enhance public understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers and the public. She currently hosts Serving Up Science at PBS Digital Studios.

At Michigan State University, Sheril hosts “Our Table,” a series of round table discussions bringing together farmers and food experts, health professionals and community members to listen to each other and foster dialogue about where our food comes from and how it impacts our health and planet. In her role at Food@MSU, she also developed and conducts the biannual Food Literacy and Engagement Poll on a variety of food topics to help inform national discussion, business planning and policy development.

Sheril co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren as a top recommended read. She is also the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores the science behind one of humanity’s fondest pastimes.

Sheril’s writing appears in publications such as Bloomberg and CNN frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to parenthood. Her work has also been published in scientific journals including Science and Nature and she is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. She has also hosted blogs at Discover, Scientific American and Wired, as well as the weekly NPR podcast Serving Up Science.

Sheril has been a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar; a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a legislative NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in the U.S. Senate with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and a Next Generation Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. She speaks internationally about science communication and has appeared as a thought leader at events like TEDGlobal and Ciudad de las Ideas.

Previously Sheril served as director of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll. She has also worked with the Webber Energy Group at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Sheril has been a visiting scholar with The Pimm Group, a fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She holds graduate degrees in marine biology and policy and lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband David Lowry and sons.

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