October 16-17, 2018 | Lincoln, Nebraska
nsf logo link
2018 NRIC speakers

portraits of Sandra Blakeslee and Mary-Charlotte Domandi

Sandra Blakeslee &
Mary-Charlotte Domandi
New York Times; RadioCafe.org

Critical skills for talking to the media — How to prepare for an interview and win public trust






On April 22, 2017, more than a million people in over 600 locations around the world marched in support of science. For thousands of researchers, it was a call to defend their values and to demonstrate the importance of their work. It felt good – but arguably it’s not enough.

Now more than ever, scientists need to explain what they do – and why it matters – to the general public. When they fail to step up, we see measles epidemics because parents no longer believe in vaccines, among other serious problems.

 Today’s workshop will help you learn how to prepare for interviews with print, radio and television journalists. Through role playing exercises, you’ll see what works and doesn’t work. You’ll have effective tools that promote the understanding of science. And you’ll have the confidence to interact with the media.


Sandra Blakeslee is a science journalist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has spent nearly all of her career writing for the New York Times, both on staff and on contract. She is an author or co-author for ten books, including two on the microbiome, “Missing Microbes” and “Dirt is Good.” She was rewarded a fellowship from the Templeton Foundation to spent several weeks in Cambridge, England, discussing science and religion. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and was the first journalism fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. She is entranced by microbes and microbiomes.

Mary-Charlotte Domandi is producer and host of the Radio Cafe (radiocafe.org), a long-time public radio program and now a podcast on the Santa Fe New Mexican. She covers science, the arts, politics, the environment, books, films, and many local and Southwestern topics. She’s also the host of Down to Earth (downtoearth.media), a podcast on sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Her program was voted “best radio program” in Santa Fe many years running, and she's the recipient of several journalism awards, and of the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.