Sheril Kirshenbaum is Director of The Energy Poll at The University of Texas at Austin. She works to enhance public understanding of energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public.
Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity’s fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren as a top recommended read. In addition, she currently blogs at Scientific American.
Sheril’s writing has appeared in publications such as Bloomberg and CNN frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from hydraulic fracturing to climate change. Her work has also been published in scientific journals including Science and Nature and she is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010.
Sheril has been a Marshall Memorial Fellow; an international program to expose future U.S. leaders to a changing and expanding Europe. She is also a Next Generation Project Texas Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law and served as a legislative Knauss Science Fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy.
Sheril is a science advisor to NPR’s Science Friday, and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has appeared in documentaries and been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown. She has served on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and spoke at TEDGlobal2011.
Previously, Sheril was a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at UT Austin’s Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. In addition, she was a research associate at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with The Pimm Group and has been a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She also helped to found Science Debate in 2007; an initiative encouraging candidates to address science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail.
Sheril previously hosted blogs at Wired and Discover. She also regularly contributes to a variety of science blogs such as NPR and Climate Progress. An archive of blog posts can be viewed at cultureofscience.com. Sheril was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry and son.