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Wil Lepkowski

Affilated Scholar
Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes


Wil Lepkowski has a bachelors degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a masters degree in biochemistry from Ohio State University and was a Fellow in the Advanced Science Writing Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He began his journalism career with the Providence (RI) Journal-Bulletin in the early 1960s, moving on to Johns Hopkins University as medical science writer, then to the Washington Bureau of the Newhouse Newspapers for another two, and further on to Chemical & Engineering News until 1969 when he joined the Business Week staff as its Washington science correspondent.

He left Business Week to freelance and consult in 1975 and in 1977 returned to C&EN where he remained until 1999. Since then he has written for Nature; for Washington Fax, the on-line science news service; Science and Government Report; Science, Research/Technology Management, and Issues in Science and Technology. He was a contributor to the first Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Past work involved articles for the Washington Post, Science Forum, Hastings Review, Technology Review, The Progressive, New Republic, National Review, and the Boston Globe.

During his career at C&EN, he covered the Bhopal disaster, chemical safety issues, chemical warfare, international science and technology policy issues involving the European Community, Japan, Poland, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, and the full spectrum of domestic s&t issues including space, energy, biomedical research, technological innovation and competitiveness, environment, the National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Congress. Throughout, his aim has been to add social, ethical, and economic perspective to science and technology in its pervasive and intricate interactions with society.

In 2000 he initiated and co-chaired a Gordon Research Conference on science and technology policy. In 2001 he was named Journalist-in-Residence at Columbia University’s Center for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and wrote a column entitled Science and Policy Perspectives for the Center’s website. In 2005, he was elected as Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, he has taught writing at the graduate level at Virginia Institute of Technology. He continues to write, focusing on essays involving science, technology, and society, and on independent scholarship such as a biography of the noted Bell Labs research chief and policy titan, William O. Baker.

He is married to the former Helene Hollander and from that marriage has one child, Katherine. They reside in Reston, VA. He also has three children—David, Rebecca, and Thomas–from a previous marriage.

18 PublicationsView All Publications

Lepkowski, Wil. July 09, 2002. "Biotech’s OK Corral." Post on CSPO Perspectives.

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Lepkowski, Wil. October 31, 2002. "Maize, Genes, and Peer Review." Post on CSPO Perspectives.

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Lepkowski, Wil. March 07, 2003. "Science: Up Close and Personal." Post on CSPO Perspectives.

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Lepkowski, Wil. June 10, 2003. "The Once and Future Lab." Post on CSPO Perspectives.

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Lepkowski, Wil. December 11, 2001. "The Academies of the World." Post on CSPO Perspectives.

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