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Virginia Hughes, acclaimed science editor for BuzzFeed News, will give the annual Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, in the College of Nursing Auditorium.

virginia hughesFor the twenty-fourth lecture in the series, Hughes will present “In Defense of Clickbait.” It is free and open to the public.

“Science is a human endeavor like any other,” Hughes said. “So science news should be like any other kind of news: urgent, informative, provocative, compelling—and, on the web, yes, clickable.”

Mark Littman, who holds the Julia G. and Alfred G. Hill Chair in Excellence, Science, Technology and Medical Writing, said Hughes is “an innovative leader in electronic news, a vibrant new way in which science and health information is reaching people. We need to hear where the field is going.”

Hughes also will discuss what it is like to do hard-hitting science journalism for BuzzFeed and the importance of bringing science to new audiences.

Before becoming a science editor for BuzzFeed News in 2015, Hughes was a freelance journalist specializing in genetics, neuroscience and biotechnology. Her blog, Only Human, was published by National Geographic. Hughes’s writing has also appeared in publications such as the Atlantic, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Slate. Her science stories were selected to appear in The Best American Science and Nature Writing in 2012 and 2014.

The Hill Lecture series hosts distinguished science journalists to share their thoughts on science, society and the mass media. The lectures are made possible by an endowment by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents, Alfred and Julia Hill, founders of the Oak Ridger. The endowment of the lecture series was a gift to the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)