Sheril Kirshenbaum is director of The Energy Poll at The University of Texas at Austin. She works to enhance public understanding of science and energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. She is also executive director of ScienceDebate, a non-profit initiative encouraging candidates to address science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail.
Sheril is a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar; an initiative launched by four presidential centers to foster growth in a diverse group of young leaders. Previously, she has also been a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a legislative Knauss Science Fellow in the U.S. Senate, and a Next Generation Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.
Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as a top recommended read. In addition, she currently blogs at Scientific American.
Sheril's writing has appeared in publications such as Bloomberg and CNN frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from hydraulic fracturing to climate change. Her work has also been published in scientific journals including Science and Nature and she is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010.
Sheril speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums. She has appeared in documentaries and been a guest on such programs as CBS This Morning and The Today Show. She has also served on the program committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and been a TEDGlobal and TEDx speaker.
Previously, Sheril was a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at UT Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. In addition, she was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment with The Pimm Group and has been a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and a Howard Hughes Research Fellow.
Sheril holds graduate degrees in marine biology and policy. She has hosted blogs at Wired and Discover. She also regularly contributes to a variety of science websites such as NPR and Think Progress. An archive of blog posts can be viewed at cultureofscience.com. Sheril was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. She lives in East Lansing, MI with her husband David Lowry and son.