Virginia Hughes, acclaimed Science Editor for BuzzFeed News, will give the University of Tennessee’s annual Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture Tuesday, March 29 at 8 p.m. in the College of Nursing Auditorium. Hughes’ Hill Lecture is free and open to the public.
Before joining BuzzFeed News as Science Editor in 2015, Hughes was a freelance journalist specializing in genetics, neuroscience, and biotechnology. Her blog, Only Human, was published by National Geographic, and her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Slate. In 2012 and 2014 Hughes’ science stories were selected to appear in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.
Hughes graduated magna cum laude in neuroscience from Brown University and then earned a master’s degree in science writing at Johns Hopkins University.
For her Hill Lecture, Hughes will speak on “In Defense of Clickbait.” “Science is a human endeavor like any other,” she says, “and so science news should be like any other kind of news: urgent, informative, provocative, compelling – and, on the web, yes, clickable.”
Hughes will also discuss what it’s like to do hard-hitting science journalism for BuzzFeed, a site known for its viral quizzes and listicles, and the importance of bringing science to new audiences.
Hughes’ speech is this year’s Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture – the 24rd in the series. The Hill Lectures bring distinguished science journalists to campus to share their thoughts on science, society, and the mass media. The lectures are made possible by an endowment created by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents, Alfred and Julia Hill, founders of The Oak Ridger. The Hill family’s endowment of the lecture series was a gift to the UT School of Journalism & Electronic Media in the College of Communication & Information.
The College of Nursing Auditorium, site of Hughes’ Hill Lecture, is on the University of Tennessee campus at the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Peyton Manning Pass. The auditorium is accessible without stairs from Volunteer Boulevard. Free parking is available on the street and in nearby lots. Refreshments will be served before and after the lecture.