Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Primary Academic Program: Biology
Biography:Nsikan Akpan is an Emmy Award–winning science writer, editor, and producer whose recent work has focused on COVID-19, climate change, and other health matters. A health and science editor for New York Public Radio (WNYC), he has also served as a science editor for National Geographic and science producer for PBS NewsHour, where he was cocreator of ScienceScope, an award-winning digital series, and helped fundraise $6 million in grants for a science desk. Awards include a 2020 Emmy for outstanding science, medical, and environmental reporting for the PBS NewsHour series “Stopping a Killer Pandemic”; 2019 George Foster Peabody Award for the five-part series “The Plastic Problem”; an AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Silver Award for the ScienceScope episode “What a Smell Looks Like”; and Columbia University’s Titus M. Coan Prize for Excellence in Research. The NewsHour series “America Addicted” received an Emmy nomination in 2018. A member of Bard’s Class of 2006, Akpan was the 2021 recipient of the College’s John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service.
Akpan has also worked for Science News, Science magazine, KUSP Central Coast Public Radio; Santa Cruz Sentinel; and as a writer for the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. As a graduate research assistant in Columbia’s Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, he examined how neurons die during cerebral ischemia (stroke) and identified novel cell death inhibitors with therapeutic efficacy. As an intern in Tufts University’s Department of Immunology, he conducted research on Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasitic agent of Chagas disease. Articles on this research were published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Brain Research.
BA, Bard College; MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; certificate, University of California Santa Cruz Science Communication Graduate Program. At Bard since 2022.