Amy Maxmen, "Inequality as a Frontier for Science Journalism" | 11/3/22

Amy Maxmen - Kavli Inequality Lecture, Nov 3, 2022

Headshot of Amy Maxmen

Amy Maxmen, PhD

Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

2020 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Winner

About the Event

The Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public, and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, hosted this lecture sponsored by the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards program. Amy Maxmen’s talk is part of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards program's annual fall lecture series. The awards program has recognized excellence in science reporting since 1945, including a 2020 Gold Award to Maxmen in the Magazine category for her report in Nature on “Behind the Front Lines of the Ebola Wars.”

About the Talk

Amy Maxmen spent eight months investigating how exploitation, poverty and discrimination drove the Covid-19 pandemic—and why scientists haven’t really addressed these issues, despite studying them for 150 years. As a reporter for the news section of Nature in 2020, Maxmen observed scientists pondering the disproportionate toll of the disease in Black and Hispanic communities in the United States. Some searched for a biological explanation, like genetic predispositions. But as the pandemic wore on, she says, evidence accumulated related to economic inequality, housing inequality, healthcare inequality and long-standing discrimination. The pandemic shows how urgent it is for science journalists to address inequality in their stories, Maxmen says. Whether covering disease, natural disasters or climate change, science reporters must not only document the uneven effects on society but also explore the roots of those imbalances and what keeps them in place. In addition to her reporting for Nature, Maxmen has written for the New York Times, Wired, and National Geographic, among other outlets. She earned a doctorate in evolutionary biology from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.


  • When: Thursday, November 3rd, 6:00 p.m. PT 2022
  • Where: Stanley Hall Auditorium, UC Berkeley
  • Who: All

Learn More

  • The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards program
  • News article for Amy Maxmen's talk
  • Watch the recording on this page above or at our YouTube page