NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca Is Coming to Madison, Wisconsin

October 01, 2019

Media Contact:
Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

Joe PalcaRESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—A science correspondent for NPR will be a keynote speaker during Sigma Xi’s Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference November 14–17 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The meeting brings together scientists, engineers, and students to discuss and share research. This year’s theme is Our Changing Global Environment: Scientists and Engineers Designing Solutions for the Future. 

Palca will be a keynote speaker in the meeting’s Science Communication, Education, and Public Engagement track. His talk on November 16 from 1:30–2:30 p.m. is, “Journalism in a Post-Factual World: Is Telling the Truth Enough?” On November 15, Palca will conduct an on-stage interview from 5:30-6:15 p.m. with plenary speaker Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, and then moderate a Q & A session between Cerf and the audience.  

“I’m thrilled to attend Sigma Xi’s Annual Meeting, and to work with people who are convinced that science, ethically conducted, will lead to a brighter future for the planet,” Palca said.

Since joining NPR in 1992, he has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers, a science communication collective. He has won numerous awards, including the National Academies Communication Award and the Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers. He comes to journalism from a science background, having received a PhD in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Meeting registration is open to the public. Journalists may request complimentary media passes and interviews with Palca during the meeting by emailing Heather Thorstensen, manager of communications for Sigma Xi, at

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety