February 1, 2021

Leaders of journalism and water policy to speak in Purdue webinar about water safety and health

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —  Science journalists and book authors will share insights with scientists and engineers about how to communicate risk and relevance from research findings on water safety and health in a webinar moderated by Purdue University professors.

The panelists include ProPublica reporter Ken Ward Jr., Pulitzer-prize winning writer Deborah Blum and New York Times bestselling author Seth Siegel. The free webinar, “Journalism, Science, and Policy: Communicating Risk and Relevance,” will take place via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. to noon ET Feb. 11. Registration is available here.

Andrew Whelton, a Purdue associate professor of civil engineering and environmental and ecological engineering, and Caitlin Proctor, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering and environmental and ecological engineering, will moderate the discussion.

The event is part of a National Science Foundation grant dedicated to supporting the sharing of knowledge and collaboration of water safety efforts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ward covers the state of West Virginia for ProPublica. He is co-founder of Mountain State Spotlight, a statewide nonprofit civic news organization. In 2018, Ward received a MacArthur Fellowship for revealing the human and environmental toll of natural resource extraction in West Virginia and spurring greater accountability among private stakeholders.

Blum is a science journalist, columnist and author. She currently serves on the board of advisors of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Blum is co-editor of the book “A Field Guide for Science Writers,” and in 2015, she was selected as the fourth director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Siegel is a serial entrepreneur and water policy thought leader. He is author of the award-winning international bestseller “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World.” Siegel is a senior fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Water Policy, and his commentary has appeared in many leading publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Media contact: Kayla Wiles, 765-494-2432, wiles5@purdue.edu

Writer: Makenna Fitzgerald, fitzge39@purdue.edu

Sources: Andrew Whelton, awhelton@purdue.edu

Caitlin Proctor, caitlin-proctor@purdue.edu

Journalists visiting campus: Journalists should follow Protect Purdue protocols and the following guidelines:

  • Campus is open, but the number of people in spaces may be limited. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you may be asked to step out or report from another location.
  • To enable access, particularly to campus buildings, we recommend you contact the Purdue News Service media contact listed on the release to let them know the nature of the visit and where you will be visiting. A News Service representative can facilitate safe access and may escort you on campus.
  • Correctly wear face masks inside any campus building, and correctly wear face masks outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Note to journalists: Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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