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SAN FRANCISCO (October 17, 2014) — The California Academy of Sciences is proud to announce its new Osher Fellows program, a thrilling extension of more than three decades of support from The Bernard Osher Foundation. The inaugural 2014 Osher Fellows were carefully chosen as expert leaders in the field of science communications, with different thematic focuses to guide selection each subsequent year.

The Foundation has been a longstanding Academy partner in bringing cutting-edge scientific research and educational efforts to vivid life. The Osher Fellows program, now in its first year, will attract “thinkers-in-residence” from science, art, design, policy, and other disciplines to consult on the Academy’s innovative public engagement and science learning programs. Osher Fellows will share their expertise beyond the Academy’s public floor, offering staff trainings in their areas of focus.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Academy’s first-ever Osher Fellows as partners in our mission to connect science with society,” says Dr. Meg Lowman, Chief of Science and Sustainability at the Academy. “Creative storytelling is vital in explaining science and conservation issues to the global community in impactful ways. This year’s Osher Fellows challenge us to constantly innovate the ways we share our groundbreaking research beyond the Academy walls.”

This fall, Brooke Smith, Brian Malow, and Carl Zimmer lend their unique talents to Academy staff and public enrichment, demonstrating the power of effectively communicating science to a vast, changing world. Never has it been more critical to distill complex scientific concepts into simple, compelling stories. The Academy recognizes these communications thought leaders as indispensable in the quest to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth.

Each fellowship recipient will lead public discussions as well as immersive staff trainings on their communication expertise. Brief biographies and event appearances for each of the 2014 Osher Fellows are included below.

2014 Osher Fellows

Brooke Smith
Brooke Smith is a science communications expert and Executive Director at COMPASS. By giving scientists the communication tools they need, and by bridging the worlds of science, journalism and policy, COMPASS works to ensure that science is better understood and used by society. Smith leads the organization in vision, strategy, and administration.

Brian Malow
Science comedian Brian Malow has worked with NASA, NSF, AAAS, and many other acronyms. He specializes in workshops and presentations that train scientists to become better speakers. Malow has made science videos for and is a contributor to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s radio show. He currently blogs for Scientific American and works in science communications at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Carl Zimmer
Carl Zimmer is an award-winning science writer whose work appears frequently in the New York Times, National Geographic, and other publications. He is the best selling author of twelve books on science including Soul Made Flesh, a history of neuroscience, and was dubbed a "tour-de-force" by The Sunday Telegraph. Zimmer is known for enthralling audiences with topics on the cutting edge of science, and explaining the history of the scientific revolution with ease and wonder.

Don’t miss Zimmer in conversation with KQED Science’s Amy Standen for “The Wisdom of Science and The Power of Words.” This special installment of the Academy’s Conversations on Science series appears at the Nourse Theater on Thursday, November 6 at 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets online or call (415) 392-4400.

The California Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. It is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and research and education programs, which engage people of all ages and backgrounds on two of the most important topics of our time: life and its sustainability. Founded in 1853, the Academy¹s mission is to explore, explain, and sustain life. Visit for more information.

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