Precipitation Extremes: Prediction, Impacts, and Responses

Details on Luncheon Speakers

Jim Hartz and Rick Chappell

The speakers at this year's Annual Meeting Luncheon will be Jim Hartz and Rick Chappell, authors of the book World's apart: How the distance between science and journalism threatens America's future. Hartz, a former host of NBC's Today show, and Dr. Chappell, a physicist and currently a professor of physics at Vanderbilt University, conducted a yearlong study to analyze media coverage and media attitudes as they related to science and technology.

Through extensive interviews, detailed research, a public-opinion survey, and anecdotes, the authors note that many news organizations do not dedicate enough to time and space to science news. And that means the American public is not hearing about the latest science research that will impact their lives. In turn, scientists for many years were used to funding that came without question, therefore not needing to explain their work to the public. But today through budget cuts, complacency, and plain misunderstanding, the science community is in jeopardy; and a big part of the problem is an inability to get the message across. What can and must we do to close the gap?

Jim Hartz is a veteran television and print journalist. His credits include his role as host and chief correspondent of Innovations, the award-winning science and technology series on PBS; and writer, director and narrator of such documentaries as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon and Red Ink Nightmare (on the Grace Commission report). Hartz has received five Emmy awards and two Ace awards during his career.

Charles Richard Chappell is Director of Science and Research Communications at Vanderbilt University. Until recently he was the Associate Director for Science at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. From 1994-1995 he worked with Vice President Gore to create the innovative K-12 science education program GlOBE. Prior to that he served as alternate payload specialist for space shuttle missions and was a mission scientists for Spacelab 1.

The book is available from the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212; phone (800) 830-3733.

Annual Meeting Luncheon
Tuesday, 16 January 2001, 12:15 PM-12:15 PM

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