Reporting on Remarkable Science and Remarkable Scientists

100 Phillips Hall
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Joe Palca in front of chalkboard with science images on it

Joe Palca discussed creativity, innovation and the translation of science as part of the University of Iowa Public Policy Center's Forkenbrock Series and the Office of Research and Economic Development's Creative Matters series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in 100 Phillips Hall, 16 North Clinton Street, Iowa City. Palca’s visit was also sponsored by Iowa Public Radio. 

Palca is a science correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). Since joining NPR in 1992, he has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, “Joe’s Big Idea.” Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors.

He comes to journalism from a science background, having received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he worked on human sleep physiology.

Palca has also worked as a television science producer, a senior correspondent for Science Magazine and Washington news editor of Nature. He has won numerous awards, and, with Flora Lichtman, is the co-author of Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us.

The Forkenbrock Series provides a forum for dialogue about policy areas from applied, academic and interdisciplinary perspectives. The series was established in honor of David Forkenbrock, a nationally recognized transportation researcher. Forkenbrock established the PPC at the University of Iowa in 1987. His vision was to enable public and private sector decision makers to work with faculty, staff and student researchers to explore solutions to complex problems related to the public interest. Forkenbrock died in 2008 of complications from lymphoma.

The Creative Matters lecture series brings together artists, thinkers, builders and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science and artistic expression. The series, which has grown out of the Arts Advancement Committee, has catalyzed a campus-wide conversation about the centrality of creativity and discovery to all that we do at the University.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Gannon at (319) 335-6817 or