UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication | 11 February 2009
By Terry Devitt
Wilson da Silva, editor in chief of the award-winning Australian science magazine COSMOS, has been named a UW-Madison science writer in residence for this spring.
A past president of the World Federation of Science Journalists and a former TV science reporter for Australia’s national public broadcaster, ABC TV, da Silva has also worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, serving in Canada, Indonesia and Australia. He is the recipient 23 journalism awards, including two Editor of the Year trophies for his work on COSMOS, a publication he helped found and that is now Australia’s leading popular science magazine.
Da Silva also worked as Sydney correspondent for New Scientist magazine and played a role in the founding of three other science magazines. He began his career as a staff journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald and later became a technology writer for The Age in Melbourne, two of Australia’s oldest broadsheet newspapers.
Da Silva will visit campus the week of Feb. 16. He will participate in science and journalism classes and work individually with students, staff and faculty to provide insight into science news and how it is made and written. He will also deliver a free public lecture at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Room 5120 Grainger Hall. Da Silva’s talk, titled “Harbingers of Knowledge: Science as Culture and the Future of Magazines,” will delve into the history of popular science magazines, assess the current science journalism landscape and make predictions about the future of science reporting.
The Science Writer in Residence Program, now in its 23rd year, was established with the help of the Brittingham Trust and continues with support from the UW Foundation. Past visiting writers include many of the nation’s leading science writers, including three writers whose work subsequently earned them the Pulitzer Prize.
The UW-Madison Science Writer in Residence Program is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and University Communications.