Sheril Kirshenbaum is Director of The University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll at The McCombs School of Business Energy Management and Innovation Center. She works to enhance public understanding of energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public.
Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. In addition, she hosts the blog, Culture of Science, focusing on the interdisciplinary nature of understanding our world with great emphasis on the conservation of biodiversity.
Sheril's writing has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, The Washington Post, Bloomberg View, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her work has also been published in journals such as Science, Nature, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. She is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010.
Sheril has been selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow for 2012; an international program to expose future U.S. leaders to a changing and expanding Europe. The previous year she was chosen as a Next Generation Project Texas Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Sheril also served as a legislative Knauss Science Fellow in 2006 on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy.
Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday, and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has appeared in documentaries and been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown. She is on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and spoke at TEDGlobal2011.
In 2007, Sheril helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, she was a research associate with the Webber Energy Group at The University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. She was also a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment with The Pimm Group and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects.
A graduate of Tufts University, she holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine and also has experience working on pop radio. Before launching her blog independently, she hosted Convergence at Wired.com and The Intersection at Discover Blogs with Chris Mooney. She has also contributed to Scientific American, Climate Progress, DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, PBS's Wired Science, and Seed. Sheril was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry.