Ron Winslow, acclaimed medical writer for The Wall Street Journal, gave the University of Tennessee’s annual Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture on Mar. 11. In the past 25 years, Winslow has published more than 1,400 articles for the Journal and won many honors for the quality of his work.
Winslow spoke on “Covering Science: Worst of Times, Best of Times.” “I’m concerned,” he says, “about the challenges science writers face from declining staff positions, disruptions in conventional news media, and science denial in much of the population. Yet I’m encouraged by the opportunities offered by blogs and other new media and by the incredible pace of discovery across science, but especially in medicine.”
When Winslow won the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting in 2011, the judges wrote: “Ron Winslow has long been at the forefront of authoritative coverage of medical research and its impact on healthcare delivery.” One of the judges said, “When I read a Ron Winslow story, I know I’m in completely trustworthy hands.”
Winslow received the Howard Lewis Award for career achievement in medical reporting from the American Heart Association in 2003 and his writing has been honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other groups. He is considered by many reporters, editors, scientists, and readers to be the current dean of medical writing.
Winslow joined the staff of The Wall Street Journal in 1983, reporting on electric utilities and nuclear power. After a brief stint as a technology writer, he became Assistant National News Editor in 1985, responsible for the Journal’s Science and Energy Section. He returned to reporting in 1989 as Senior Special Writer, covering healthcare and medicine. In 2008, he was named Deputy Bureau Chief for Health and Science.
Winslow’s speech was the 22nd Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture. The Hill Lectures bring distinguished science journalists to campus to share their thoughts on science, society, and the mass media. The lectures are made possible by an endowment created by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents, Alfred and Julia Hill, founders of The Oak Ridger. The Hill family’s endowment of the lecture series was a gift to the UT School of Journalism & Electronic Media in the College of Communication & Information.
Prior to the evening lecture, Winslow spoke to a group of UT students in a “Master Class” composed of undergraduate and graduate students from across campus who were nominated by their professors to participate because of their interest in science writing.