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* Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston University

* Harvard Extension School

Courtesy B.D. Colen

Courses taught

Science News Writing

Reporting in-depth

Profile Writing 

Freelance Journalism in the  Digital Age 

News Writing

Feature Writing



“I loved having Karen as a prof!”


“Great at communicating what she wanted from us + gave great feedback on assignments.”


“Can’t get better.”


“Karen is a wonderful example of what a professor should be. She is wise, extremely well-versed in the material, insightful, engaging and offers perspective on students' ideas ... ”

I teach in the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing and have also taught  undergraduate science writing classes at MIT. For the 2019-2020 academic year I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston University. I have been an adjunct professor of journalism since 2010, mainly in BU's Master's Program in Science Journalism, and at the Harvard Extension School. I have taught Harvard Extension classes online to students from as far away as Nepal. 

Public Speaking and Media Appearances

I have spoken to a wide range of audiences, largely about science journalism, news coverage, and how to improve communication between journalists and scientists. I have also talked about my stories on television, including The Today Show and Fox25, and on radio, including WBUR’s Radio Boston and Here & Now, iHeart Radio's Daily Dive Podcast and This Morning With Gordon Deal, which airs on 275 terrestrial radio stations.

4/23/22 – Moderator, “Public Health in a Pandemic,” Fulbright Foreign Students Program,


12/23/20 – Moderator, “COVID 19 Vaccines: Hype or Reason to Hope,” Global Bioethics Initiative

3/27/19 – How to Use Social Media to Promote your Work and Expertise, Boston University

9/26/18 - panel speaker, Media in the Age of Contagions symposium at Harvard Law School


12/1/17 - moderator Johnson & Johnson HIV/AIDS research panel, Harvard Medical School 


6/25/16 - Aspen Institute, moderator, Aspen, CO.

3/8/16 – McGill Tribune Journalism & Media Conference, conference speaker, Montreal, Canada.


7/10/15 – Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, conference speaker, Snowbird, Utah. 


4/9/14 - International Synthetic Biology conference, speaker, Brussels, Belgium.


4/3/14 – Harvard Medical School media training panel.


11/16/13 - The National High School Journalism Convention leading a session about health and science journalism.


10/16/13 - Women who Inspire Speaker Series MC’ed a panel of successful women in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, sponsored by Northeastern University.


7/12/13 - Autism Society Annual Conference member of panel at international conference, discussing media coverage of people with autism.


4/15/13 - Cambridge Science Festival media panel organizer and participant.

3/28/13 - Harvard Medical School media training panel for young doctors.

3/16/13 - Association of HealthCare Journalists - annual meeting, panel for freelance writers.


6/8/12 - NSF Engineering Research and Innovation Conference, Northeastern University, “Tell Your Story: Talking to the Media and the Public.”


5/18/12 - Media panel, IMFAR autism conference in Toronto, Canada.

2/10/12 - Sense about Science event at the Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA.

2/18/12 - AAAS conference in Vancouver. Media panelist.

3/22/12 - guest speaker, Social Issues in Biology course, Harvard Medical School.

10/20/10 and 5/3/11 - Sense about Science event. Panelist. Cambridge, MA


10/27/11 - Speech to Latin American journalists. Joslin Diabetes Center.

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