Jennifer Cline

Jennifer Cline brings more than 20 years of professional experience writing and speaking about science to her work with Northwestern University, where she teaches courses on science communication. In addition to the students she coaches in that capacity, other clients include scientists and business leaders from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as their academic partners; staff and volunteers from foundations and associations; and government officials involved in science and health care policy. Still, her favorite science job remains the very first one she ever had, when she served as a National Park Ranger for several seasons. She still has her hat.

Content by Jennifer Cline

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All scientific discoveries, large and small, start with one common goal—to advance knowledge, be it about our bodies and health, our environment, or even our universe. But the most exciting discoveries, built on years of research and collaboration, fundamentally change how we understand our world. 

In a special summer series, Science in Society will talk with five Northwestern scientists whose work is already changing their fields, and could potentially change our lives.

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All scientific discoveries, large and small, start with one common goal—to advance knowledge, be it about our bodies and health, our environment, or even our universe. But the most exciting discoveries, built on years of research and collaboration, fundamentally change how we understand our world. 

In a special summer series, we'll talk with five Northwestern scientists whose work is already changing their fields, and could potentially change our lives. 

By: 

All scientific discoveries, large and small, start with one common goal—to advance knowledge, be it about our bodies and health, our environment, or even our universe. But the most exciting discoveries, built on years of research and collaboration, fundamentally change how we understand our world.

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Headlines suggest genes hardwire some people to be financial risk-takers, spiritual beings, or bad drivers. They even suggest genes determine who we vote for. But scientists don’t frame the debate as “Nature vs. Nurture.” 

Experts believe both contribute to who we are as individuals and societies. Skokie resident Joan Chiao is one of the foremost researchers in this field called cultural neuroscience. 

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On March 9, 2009, President Obama signed the executive order “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells.” With soaring rhetoric, he promised to untie the ropes that limited such research for the eight years prior. 

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On February 20, at 11 am in Evanston, you will be able to see the future.

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Evanston resident Kevin Leonard is Northwestern University’s Archivist, responsible for collecting and preserving the primary source documents that help us understand our past. Even in this digital age, he is always on the lookout for material to safeguard so future generations can understand our present.

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Detecting infinitesimal changes in body chemistry may be the next big thing in diagnostics. But is it the right thing to do?

Simply put, nanotechnology is the science of building stuff from single atoms and molecules. One area of nanotechnology that shows great promise, nanodiagnostics, aims to provide extremely accurate, early diagnosis of disease, long before symptoms even begin to appear.  

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Ah, the traditions of Thanksgiving. The satisfaction of appreciating little things with family and friends.  The aroma of roasting turkey. And the inability to take just one helping of anything! We asked Bill Leonard, Abraham Harris Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern and a leading authority on the role nutrition plays in evolution, about this last custom.  

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If you’ve ever checked a weather report or turned a map upside down to orient it, then you know the value of a good model. So does George Schatz, the Morrison Professor of Chemistry and professor of chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern University. He is among the leading authorities on developing computer models and simulations used by researchers to help explain and predict the properties of things like DNA or nanoparticles. SiS asked him to tell us more about his work.