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November 8, 2006

Claudia Dreifus and Richard Hill Inducted as Honorary Sigma Xi Members

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Distinguished journalists Claudia Dreifus and Richard Hill are Sigma Xi's newest honorary members. They were inducted at the Society's annual meeting in Detroit on November 2-5.

Since 1983, leading science journalists, as well as others who have made important contributions to science but who are ineligible for Sigma Xi membership, have been elected honorary members.

A science writer for The New York Times, Dreifus collected many of the interviews for which she is famous in a book called Scientific Conversations. Hill is an award-winning science writer for The Oregonian and a leading advocate for increasing public awareness about science.

Claudia Dreifus
As a journalist, educator and lecturer, Claudia Dreifus is widely recognized for her abilities in interviewing scientists and communicating the complexities of their work to the public.

Before coming to the "Science Times" section of The New York Times, Dreifus was known for her incisive interviews with international political figures and cultural icons.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, Ms., The Progressive, and Modern Maturity. In her book, Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science from The New York Times, she delves into the thoughts and lives of some of the most intriguing minds in science.

From Nobel laureates to virtually unknown innovators, across a multitude of scientific disciplines, she introduces and explains the personalities behind the great accomplishments. The book was partially funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Dreifus has been a pioneering and original force in making science more accessible.

She is an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Policy and has contributed to many textbooks and anthologies. She is also a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute of the New School for Social Research.

Her many honors include an Outstanding Magazine Article Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Dreifus lives in New York City with her domestic partner, political scientist Andrew Hacker. They are writing a book together on American higher education.

Richard Hill
For the past 18 years, Richard Hill has been the science writer at The Oregonian, where he has been involved in producing the newspaper’s weekly science section.

He has written more than 2,500 science stories on a wide variety of subjects, from eruptions at Mount St. Helens to the hazards posed by the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Northwest coast.

In 2000, Hill was the first recipient of the American Geophysical Union's David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Writing. He has also received the C. B. Blethen Memorial Award for Distinguished Reporting and has won several regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

He has been a media fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and has participated in two NOAA research cruises, including the first exploration of the Astoria Canyon off the Northwest coast.

The Oregon Science Teachers Association and the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Sigma Xi have recognized Hill for his work. He recently published a book for the general public, Volcanoes of the Cascades: Their Rise and Their Risks.

A former board member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has also been a reporter and editor at the Dallas Times Herald and The Christian Science Monitor. Hill has a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.


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