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Alfred & Julia Hill Lecture Series on Science, Society, and the Mass Media

2022 Alfred & Julia Hill Lecture – Michael Specter

Michael Specter, Science Writer for The New Yorker and winner of 8 international awards for his work, will speak on “Believing Science in an Age of Denial” when he delivers the 29th annual Alfred & Julia Hill Lecture at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Strong Hall Auditorium (Room 101) on White Avenue.
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The Alfred & Julia Hill Lecture Series on Science, Society, and the Mass Media was established in 1989 by Tom Hill, former publisher of The Oak Ridger, and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor and memory of their parents.

Alfred and Julia Hill founded The Oak Ridger in 1949, seven years after the government established Oak Ridge to house workers on the atomic bomb project. The Oak Ridger was the first successful privately owned newspaper in the city and marked an important stage in the transition of Oak Ridge from federal operation to private ownership and self-government.

Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton were also the principal benefactors of an endowment for the School of Journalism and Electronic Media in 1987 to match State of Tennessee contributions to establish the Julia G. and Alfred G. Hill Chair of Excellence Professorship in Science, Technology, and Medical Writing and the Science Communication Program at the University of Tennessee.

Hill Lecture History

March 23, 2021 Anu Garg, Founder of Language Myths & Hoaxes: A Humorous Look at Language Misconceptions
March 31, 2020 Robin Lloyd, Scientific American Writer and Editor The End of Investigative Science Writing?
(Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)
April 2, 2019 Sarah Holt , Scientific, and Historical film work Turning Complex Science Stories into Compelling Television
April 10, 2018 Mark Schleifstein, The New Orleans Advocate, Environmental writer Covering the environment as the media transforms around you
April 4, 2017 Joel Achenbach, Washington Post science writer Navigating the Era of Fake News, Pseudoscience, and Bunk
March 29, 2016 Virginia Hughes, BuzzFeed News science editor In Defense of Clickbait
March 24, 2015 Joe Palca, Science Correspondent for National Public Radio Explaining the Universe in Two Minutes or Less
March 11, 2014 Ron Winslow, Medical Writer for The Wall Street Journal Covering Science: Worst of Times, Best of Times
April 2, 2013 Jeffrey Kluger, Science Writer for Time magazine Science as Civilizer
March 13, 2012 Stephen S. Hall, New York Times Magazine writer Alternate Universes: Different Ways of Thinking about Science – and Science Journalism
April 12, 2011 Michael Waldrop,  Nature editor Lessons My Stories Taught Me
March 16, 2010 Richard Harris, National Public Radio Covering Climate Change in a Changing Media Climate
March 31, 2009 Tom SiegfriedScience News magazine Odds Are, It’s Wrong: The Misuse of Math in Science, Medicine, and the Media
March 25, 2008 Alan Boyle, Science Editor for Britney Spears vs. Chimps with Spears: Taling about Science in a Tabloid Culture
2007 Robert Krulwich What a Reporter Learns from Dylan, Coltrane, and Chumbawamba: Journalism as Music
2006 Michael D. Lemonick Crank or Genius – How Does a Science Writer Tell the Difference?
2005 Jonathan Weiner On the Writing of His Brother’s Keeper: A Story from the Edge of Medicine
2004 Paula Apsell What’s Hot, What’s Not in Science Programming
2003 John Rennie               Naysaying the Nincompoops: On Being a Maven in a Misinformed Era
2002 David Quammen             Midnight in the Garden of Fact and Factoid
2001 Sharon Begley             Why Science Journalism Isn’t Science
2000 John Noble Wilford       Science Journalism Across Two Centuries
1999 Robert Kanigel            The Perils of Popularizing Science
1997 Jon Franklin              The End of Science Writing
1996 Jim Detjen                Environmental News: Where Is It Going?
1994 Victor Cohn               Reporting – Good and Bad – on Health in America
1993 Gina Kolata               Medical Reporting: Where the Story Lies
1991 Dorothy Nelkin            Risk Communication and the Mass Media
1989 John Noble Wilford       Science as Exploration