In a world that grows increasingly complex — with people calling scientific facts about climate change into question  and where the pace of progress regularly far outstrips the policies needed to best harness it, a shared understanding of science is more important than ever.

To that end, UCLA is hosting a panel discussion on May 21 that will bring together a UCLA professor, three science journalists and a filmmaker/activist to talk about communicating science through film, television and news.

The panelists for “Communicating Science Effectively in Today’s World” are:

  • Lawrence Bender, producer and political activist. His film “An Inconvenient Truth” raised significant awareness about climate change and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
  • Nadia Drake, science journalist for National Geographic. Her work has also appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic and other publications
  • Jacob Margolis, science reporter at KPCC-89.3 FM and host of the podcast, “The Big One: Your Survival Guide”
  • Deborah Netburn, science reporter for the Los Angeles Times
  • David Saltzberg, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and science consultant for the television show, “The Big Bang Theory” since its pilot episode

The discussion and Q&A, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center, Centennial Ballroom, is being hosted by UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences and the Division of Physical Sciences. The panel discussion will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m.

To register for this free event, funded by the Meyer and Renee Luskin Endowment for Thought Leadership, go to

“Communicating science effectively is difficult, especially in today’s world,” said Jean-Luc Margot, professor and chair of the Earth, planetary and space sciences department. “But the ability to communicate science can have a profound impact on policy choices that affect important societal concerns, including public health and public safety.”