Cornelia Dean

Visiting Lecturer, Brown University


Cornelia Dean is a distinguished lecturer and writer-in-residence at Brown University. She is best known as a science journalist at The New York Times, where she still writes and was science editor between 1997 and 2003. She began her newspaper career at The Providence Journal. Her first book, Against the Tide, was published in 1999 by Columbia University Press.

In a review published in Science magazine, Tom Drake wrote, “‘Against the Tide’ flashes like a metaphorical lighthouse to warn scientists, policymakers and the public about the state of the shoreline.” Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite described the book as an “incredibly well researched” handbook for “anyone interested in the preservation of the nation’s beaches,” providing a reminder that America’s vulnerable coastal regions “are a national heritage and a precious resource that we owe our future generations.” [Excerpt from Western Connecticut University’s website.]

Her guide for researchers on communicating with the public, Am I Making Myself Clear?, was published in 2009 by Harvard University Press. She is working on a book about the misuse of scientific information in American public life. Dean teaches at Harvard and has taught at Columbia, Vassar, and URI. AAAS recognized Dean “for compelling and engaging science and health reporting and journalism education spanning a career in the nation’s newspaper industry.”

A trustee emerita of the Corporation of Brown University, Dean earned an A.B. from the University in 1969 and an M.S. in journalism from Boston University in 1981.

All sessions by Cornelia Dean