Claudia Dreifus

Senior Fellow

Expertise: Emerging global women's leadership; the democratization of science; higher education.

Claudia Dreifus writes about the lives of American and international scientists in her popular interview column in the Science Times section of The New York Times, "A Conversation with…" When the scientific honor society Sigma Xi made her an honorary member last year, they described her as "a pioneering and original force in making science accessible." Ms. Dreifus' interviews with leading figures in world politics, particularly with emerging women leaders, have appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Ms., The Nation, Playboy, The Progressive, Mother Jones, Premiere, Town and Country, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Mirabella and AARP's The Magazine, where she is a contributing editor, and many others.   Two collections of her interviews, Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science from the New York Times, and Interview, are used as texts in journalism classes throughout the world.   Ms. Dreifus has reported from Chile, Nicaragua, Burma and Pakistan. Last year, the American Society of Journalists and Authors awarded her its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. She teaches "Magazine Writing With An International Dateline" at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She is currently co-authoring a book, Higher Education? with the political scientist, Andrew Hacker to be published in September of 2009 by Holt/Times Books. She will be teaching "Magazine Writing With An International Dateline," at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs," this Fall.

Honors and Affiliations

Her various honors and affiliations include the American Society of Journalists and Authors' Lifetime Achievement Award; being nominated for 1992 National Magazine Award by TV Guide for investigative report on censorship, "TVs Censor from Tupelo"; 1987 Outstanding Magazine Article Award from American Society of Journalists and Authors for "Rodrigo's Last Trip Home;" 1987 American Values Award for "How Rural Woman are Saving the Family Farm;" 1987 American Jewish Press Association's Simon Rockower Award for Distinguished Commentary for "Why I Write;" Special Award for Service to Women, YWCA of New York, 1980; Listed, "Who's Who In America, 2000;" Listed, "Who's Who In The World, 2000;" PEN; American Society of Journalists and Authors; The Authors Guild and The National Writer's Union   

B.S. in Dramatic Arts, New York University 
German (fluent)
French and Spanish (basic working knowledge)

Twitter: @claudiadreifus


Owl Books, 2002
 – Praise for Scientific Conversations from IMSA
Seven Stories Press, 1999

 Read a number of Ms. Dreifus' New York Times pieces here

 "How Video Games Could Improve Our Vision," The New York Times, August 27, 2012.

 "The Beasts and Beats of Belize," August 19, 2012.

Studying Evolution with an Eye on the Future,” The New York Times, July 30, 2012.

A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity,” The New York Times, May 14, 2012.

Protecting a Species That Most People Fear,” China Daily, April 15, 2012.

Claudia Dreifus’ book Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids – And What We Can Do About It was quoted in “Student Debt Red Herring,” Fox Business, April 4, 2012.

Helping Species That Leaves Few Feeling Warm and Fuzzy,” The New York Times, March 26, 2012.

A Quest to Understand How Memory Works,” The New York Times, March 5, 2012. 

A Long Journey to Immune System Insights,” The New York Times, January 30, 2012. 

CLAUDIA DREIFUS’s book Higher Education was referenced in “Put Quality above Rankings,” The Age, June 7, 2011. 

Biologist Teaches the Nation’s Judges About Genetics”, The New York Times, July 1, 2008.
"Professor Finds the Art in Both Numbers and Letters," The New York Times, June 17, 2008.
"A Surgeon's Path from Migrant Fields to Operating Room," The New York Times, May 13, 2008.
"A Genetic Engineer Sees a Bright Future, Cautiously," New York Times, April 29, 2008.
The Smiling Professor,” for the New York Times, April 22, 2008.
"When Grizzlies Ruin Eden, Moose Take to the Road," The New York Times, February 12, 2008.
"Diversity Makes a Difference for All of Us," Ann Arbor News, January 27, 2008.
In Professor’s Model, Diversity = Productivity,” The New York Times, January 8, 2008.
Ambassador for big cats presses for big reserves,” The Oregonian, January 2, 2008.
"On the Ground and in the Water, Chasing a Giant Waves Path," International Herald Tribune, December 26, 2007.
"Zoologist Gives a Voice to Big Cats in the Wilderness," The New York Times, December 18, 2007.
Through Analysis, Gut Reaction Gains Credibility,” The New York Times, Aug. 28, 2007.
Women on Death Row, Ms. Magazine, March 2003.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS will interview keynote speaker Dr. Jill Tarter at the Inspiring Womens' Scientists Forum on March 21, 2012.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS moderated “Our Digital Universe: An Evening with George Dyson and Freeman Dyson” at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, March 15, 2012. 

CLAUDIA DREIFUS debated the topic, “The American Way of Higher Education – Does it Need Reforming?” at Bridgewater College, March 13, 2012.

 CLAUDIA DREIFUS was a guest on Al Jazeera's The Stream, discussing the student loan crisis in the United States and internationally, July 10, 2012. 

CLAUDIA DREIFUS was a guest speaker at the University of South FloridaSUNY Geneseo, Evergreen State College in November.  Her topics ranged from international science communication to the future of American higher education, January,  2012.  

CLAUDIA DREIFUS taught “Writing about Global Science for the International Media,” this spring semester in the new Columbia University Sustainability Management Master’s Degree program within Columbia’s Earth Institute, January 2012.  

CLAUDIA DREIFUS interviewed science historian George Dyson in “Looking Backward to Put New Technologies in Focus,” The New York Times, December 5, 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS moderate "The Future of the Peace Corps: Successes, Failures, and Opportunities for Reform," at Columbia University, November 29, 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS was a mentor at the Adventures of the Mind summit at the University of Montana from June 23-26, where she spoke on the  American civil rights movement and the role of idealistic young people in changing their world,  July 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS interviewed Canadian psychologist, Ellen Biaylstok, on the physical effects of biligualismNew York Times, May, 30 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS appeared with Dick Cavett on the "Art of the Interview" at the New York Public Library as part of the library's 100th anniversary on May 21, 2011.

 CLAUDIA DREIFUS discussed the future of American higher education on NPR's Diane Rehm Show, May 16, 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS, "A Conversation With Stephen Hawking: Life and the Cosmos, Word By Painstaking Word," The New York Times, May 9, 2011.

CLAUDIA DREIFUS was interviewed by Matt Frei of BBC-Radio 4 about the higher education crisis in both Britain and United States, May 8, 2011. 

CLAUDIA DREIFUS interviewed Pauline Wiessner on modern day African Tribesman and their social network that acts as insurance for hard times, “Where Gifts and Stories are Crucial to Survival,”, May 25, 2009.
CLAUDIA DREIFUS’s interviews with Alice Walker and Susan Sarandon will be reprinted in The Progressive’s centennial book Best of The Progressive, coming out in summer 2009. 
An interview of CLAUDIA DREIFUS’s, which first appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, is included in Conversations: Toni Morrison.
On May 9, 2008, moderated the panel, “Science & Technology, the 2008 Election and Beyond,” at the American Association for the Advance of Science (AAAS) 2008 Forum in Washington, D.C.
Moderated a debate between Alec Ross, Barack Obama's science adviser and senior vice president of the non-profit One Economy Corporation, and Thomas Kalil, Hillary Clinton's adviser and special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, February 18, 2008.  Audio here.
Thomas Kalil, S&T adviser to the campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton; moderator Claudia Dreifus of the New York Times; and Alec Ross, S&T adviser to the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, during a debate at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

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