General Lab Information

Karen Walsh

Principal Media & Communications Specialist, Media & Communications Office, Stakeholders and Community Relations Office

Karen Walsh

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Stakeholders and Community Relations Office
Bldg. 400C
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-8350
kmcnulty@bnl.gov

I write stories and press releases to share the science going on at Brookhaven National Laboratory with the world. I also work with external reporters at newspapers, TV stations, web-based content providers, and others to connect them with our scientists so they can share the Lab's work more widely. 

Some background:

I've always loved science. Inspired by my high-school biology teacher, who would regularly interrupt her classroom instruction to share stories about science going on in the real world, I majored in biology as an undergraduate. But I never had the knack for doing research. Instead, at a liberal arts college, I developed my writing skills, often bringing science into my writing.

I often hated writing. Yet many of my professors told me I was good at it. I realized much later, as writing got easier, that the "hatred" came from caring deeply about what I was trying to convey. Writing well takes work, but it's worth it.

Now, every day, I get to dive into new areas of science, and figure out how to present it in language and with context that others will understand and care about. I'm lucky to be at Brookhaven National Laboratory where there's no shortage of amazing science and scientists—and fascinating stories to tell.

Expertise | Education | Awards


Expertise

Principal Media & Communication Specialist, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1999 – present)
Write press releases, feature stories, and other content to convey the impact of research across a wide range of sciences from biology to nuclear physics; interview scientists; translate complex concepts into accessible language; pitch stories to external media and coordinate coverage; assist laboratory managers with strategic outreach; conduct annual science communication workshop for hundreds of on-site undergraduate and graduate student research interns.

Editor (Managing Editor), Zillions magazine, Consumers Union (1997 – 1999)
Coordinated all editorial content for children’s version of Consumer Reports magazine; helped plan science-based product testing; assigned, edited, and wrote stories; collaborated with graphic designers; participated in radio and television interviews to publicize findings.

Editor (Senior, Associate, Assistant Editor), Science World magazine, Scholastic Inc. (1989 – 1997)
Assigned, edited, and wrote stories for bi-weekly science magazine used in middle schools and high schools around the country; collaborated with graphic designers; conducted school visits; coordinated lesson plans for associated Teacher’s Edition. 

Writer, L.S. Inc., New York (1986 – 1988)
Analyzed, coded, and wrote lay-language summaries of biomedical research articles for database accessible to attorneys working on product-liability lawsuits.  

Education

  • M.A. with a Certificate in Journalism, Science & Environmental Reporting Program, New York University, February 1990
  • B.A., Biology, Vassar College, General and Departmental Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, May 1986 

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2018
  • Brookhaven Award, 2016, in recognition of performance and achievements that represent outstanding service to Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Series of “EdPress” Distinguished Achievement Awards, 1991-1998, for excellence in educational journalism
  • Member National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Mentor to interns/young science writers throughout tenure at Scholastic and at Brookhaven Lab

Karen Walsh

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Stakeholders and Community Relations Office
Bldg. 400C
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-8350
kmcnulty@bnl.gov

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