Science writer Michael Specter to speak at ASTC 2011

Michael SpecterMichael Specter, a New Yorker staff writer who often explores science, technology, and public health issues, has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore. Hosted by the Maryland Science Center, the conference will take place October 15–18.

Since joining the staff of the New Yorker in 1998, Michael Specter has written about the global AIDS epidemic, avian influenza, malaria, the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, synthetic biology, and the debate over the meaning of our carbon footprint. In his 2009 book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives, Specter argues that the public’s growing mistrust of the institution of science has led to a war on progress. His views are rigorously researched and highly challenging.

Specter has twice received the Global Health Council’s annual Excellence in Media Award, first for his 2001 article about AIDS, “India’s Plague,” and secondly for his 2004 article “The Devastation,” about the ethics of testing HIV vaccines in Africa. He also received the 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Journalism Award for his article, “Rethinking the Brain,” about the scientific basis of how we learn.