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Jory Weintraub Named Director of Science Engagement

Wolf Plaza

Jory Weintraub has been named director of science engagement in the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, effective January 3. He will report directly to Rob Dunn, senior vice provost for University Interdisciplinary Programs, who made the announcement today.

“I am excited to continue the growth and momentum the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs has generated through the addition of Jory to the team,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. “He comes to NC State with a wealth of experience and leadership in public science, which will serve to advance the great strides we’re making in support of interdisciplinarity on campus.”

As director of science engagement, Weintraub will build on the extraordinary diversity of public-engaged science programming at NC State that engages the public in science, including leveraging existing programming in the university’s colleges and other units. He will work to connect and highlight existing public engagement programming and existing public engagement training for students, faculty and staff. He will also connect and expand new programming being developed by individual interdisciplinary programs connected to the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, such as the Genetics and Genomics Academy, the Data Science Academy, the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative and the Integrative Sciences Initiative. 

Weintraub will work out of D.H. Hill Jr. Library, in partnership with the NC State University Libraries, in order to leverage their extraordinary public engagement resources and expertise. “I am thrilled to have the NC State University Libraries host and closely collaborate with Jory,” said Senior Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Greg Raschke. “Libraries and museums are ideal environments for conversations between and among interdisciplinary communities. In addition, public engagement is fundamental in sharing the fruits of NC State research with the community and in connecting diverse audiences to the progress of science.”   

Weintraub will help showcase science to the public through museums, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. NC State currently supports eight faculty, in the Departments of History, Biological Sciences, and Forestry and Environmental Resources, who are jointly appointed between the museum and the university. The expansion of NC State’s connection to the museum will include the development of new programs, in partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural Resources, College of Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and the Wilson College of Textiles. Weintraub will also develop new opportunities for NC State students to engage the public at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. 

“NC State has long been a leader in studying how best to engage the public in science and the scientific process and has many flagship programs through which the university engages the public in science. Jory will seek to connect and leverage our programs across disciplines, departments and colleges so as to make science we do at the university even more accessible and useful to the state and the world,” said Dunn. “Engagement is a two-way street, a process by which we make science more accessible and learn from the public about the science that is most useful and relevant to their daily lives and the future.”

Prior to joining NC State, Weintraub served as a co-principal investigator and director of training and professional development for the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS). In this role, he was known as a national leader in the policy, practice and training of communicating societal impacts of research.

He was previously a faculty member and director of science communication for Duke University’s Initiative for Science & Society, and prior to that he spent 10 years leading the outreach and education efforts of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), an NSF-funded evolutionary biology research center which was a collaboration between NC State, Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He serves on the Council of Experts for ARIS and on the Advisory Board for the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine. Previously, he served on the board of directors of Science Communicators of North Carolina and on the editorial board of the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach.

Weintraub received a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California at San Diego and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to study STEM outreach and diversity.

Weintraub’s work will be supported by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural Resources, College of Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, the Wilson College of Textiles and the NC State University Libraries. 

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