John A. Carey, award winning writer and editor, with three decades of experience covering science, medicine, the environment, and other areas for magazines including Business Week, The Scientist, and Newsweek, will be Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering Visiting Scholar on Sept. 21 and 22.

He will give a talk, "Why Scientists Should Help Stop the Decline in Journalism," on Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. in the on-campus Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science Building on Stanger Street in Room 310.  It is free and open to Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students, and to the general public.

The visiting scholar program is funded by a gift from engineering alumnus Bob Jebson of Culpeper, Va., a 1956 metallurgical engineering graduate and a member of the College of Engineering’s Committee of 100. 

An admirer of technology communication, Jebson directed a $50,000 gift to the College of Engineering’s public relations program, and worked with Lynn Nystrom, director of news and external relations for engineering, to develop the guidelines that call for a nationally recognized science and technology writer to spend a few days on campus each year.

Carey was the senior correspondent for Business Week from 1989 until 2010.  He wrote hundreds of stories, from quick-hitting breaking news to in-depth features for the magazine.  Fifteen of his articles were cover stories including “The many benefits of high priced oil,” “Business, yes business, wants action on climate change,” and “From back surgery to bypass operations, many medical procedures are dubious.”

Carey was the associate managing editor of The Scientist from 1988 until 1989. He managed staff writers and the free lancers who wrote for the publication. He oversaw the opinion section, soliciting and editing editorials, op-eds and reminiscences by scientists and other experts.

While a reporter at Newsweek in the 1980s, he wrote on science, technology, medicine, and other topics for six years. He covered the first space shuttle missions, the Arkansas creationism trial, the AIDS epidemic, new ideas about evolution, the America’s Cup races, and many other events.

He is the director of the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists, responsible for managing the science writing contest for journalists under the age of 30.

In 2009, Carey won the Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award. In 2008, he received the Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and earned an Award of Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists. He has also received awards from the Deadline Club, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Business Publication Editors, the Computer Press Association, the Overseas Press Club, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Carey, currently a freelancer, graduated from Yale University in molecular biophysics and biochemistry magna cum laude, and has a master’s degree in marine biology from the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and a master’s of forest science in forest ecology from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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