UW Graduate School

Richard Harris

richard-harris

  • NPR Science Correspondent

January 24, 2018  |   7:30 p.m.

Kane Hall, room 120

  • NOTE: This lecture has reached capacity. As a courtesy, the Graduate School will open a standby seating list on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6:45 p.m. Any unclaimed seats will be given to stand-by patrons beginning at 7:15 p.m. If you registered for this lecture, the doors will open at 7 p.m., and you must claim your seats by 7:15 p.m. Any unclaimed seats will be offered to our guests in the stand-by line.
  • This event is free and open to the public. 

 

Good Science, Bad Science: Getting Biomedical Research Done Right

In many cases, initial results that get trumpted as medical advances do not stand the test of time. Longtime NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris talks about the “reproducibility crisis” facing biomedical research – how needless errors are slowing progress in the quest for better treatments and cures. These problems are driven in part by the hypercompetitive environment of academic research. Fortunately, scientists are starting to recognize the scope and seriousness of these issues, and are starting to take steps to address them.

About Richard Harris

Richard Harris has covered science, medicine and the environment for National Public Radio since 1986. His award-winning work includes reports in 2010 that revealed the US Government was vastly underestimating the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. He also shared a Peabody award with colleague Rebecca Perl for their 1994 reports about the tobacco industry’s secret documents, which showed that company scientists were well aware of the hazards of smoking.

Richard has traveled the world, from the South Pole and the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic Ocean, reporting on climate change. The American Geophysical Union honored him with a Presidential Citation for Science and Society.

In 2014, he turned his attention back to biomedical research and came to realize how the field was suffering. Too many scientists were chasing too little funding. That led him to take a year-long sabbatical at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes to research and write Rigor Mortis. It is his first book.

Richard grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned a bachelors degree in biology at UC-Santa Cruz. He graduated with highest honors and spoke at commencement. In his first full-time reporter job, at the Livermore (Calif.) Tri-Valley Herald, he discovered that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was working on a new generation of nuclear weapons — ones that use nuclear explosives to generate energy beams. Scientists at the time contemplated putting these weapons in space to shoot down incoming missiles.

Richard has two grown children. He lives in Washington DC, which he traverses daily on his bicycle as he commutes to work.

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