Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum

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Academic Specialist and Host of Our Table


Science communicator Sheril Kirshenbaum is the moderator for Our Table conversations. She also coordinates the MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, along with MSU AgBioResearch director Doug Buhler, and hosts WKAR’s Serving Up Science podcast and upcoming digital series.

In addition to her role with Food@MSU, Kirshenbaum is the executive director of ScienceDebate, a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative to restore science to its rightful place in politics. She works to enhance public understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers and the public.

She co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as a top recommended read. Kirshenbaum is also the author of the book The Science of Kissing and blogs at Scientific American.

Kirshenbaum’s writing appears in publications such as Bloomberg and CNN frequently covering topics that bridge science and society, from climate change to parenthood. Her work has also been published in scientific journals including Science and Nature, and was featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010.

She has been a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a legislative National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in the U.S. Senate, and a Next Generation Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. She speaks internationally about science communication and has appeared as a thought leader at events like TEDGlobal and Ciudad de las Ideas.

Kirshenbaum holds graduate degrees in marine biology and policy. Previously, she was with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, where she was the former director of the UT Energy Poll. She has also worked for Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Kirshenbaum was a former visiting scholar with The Pimm Group, a fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History, and a Howard Hughes Research Fellow.

She lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband David Lowry and sons.

Learn more about Sheril’s work as a graduate student in the MSU Department of Community Sustainability.