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Philip J. Hilts
2 Avon Street
Cambridge MA 02138


MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Knight Science Journalism Program, Director, 2008 to 2014. Led this international fellowship program for professional journalists. Selected 13 of the world’s top science journalists annually from among more than 150 applications to come study at MIT and Harvard for a year; Selected faculty for and organize 45 seminars during the academic year; Organized and selected faculty for four intensive single-subject science workshops for journalists. Editor-in-Chief of the popular blog KSJ Tracker. Supervised the Knight Fellows’ training in video and audio storytelling, in narrative non-fiction and social media. Created and organized regular events for MIT on issues of science, technology and society. Taught 8-10 master’s candidates annually in science writing for the Graduate Program in Science Writing.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, SHORENSTEIN CENTER ON MEDIA, POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY, Fellow, 2008. Completed a study on journalistic coverage of global health issues during the period 1900 to 2008.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY, Knight Center for Science and Medical Reporting 1999-2002, 2004-2007. Taught graduate students news reporting and writing. Writer-in-residence for academic year 2001-2002. Helped organize seminar on reporting and medical drug industry. Helped develop plans to make the Knight Center a permanent journalism center.

MAGEE JOURNALISM FELLOW IN SOUTHERN AFRICA, 2002-2003. Based at the University of Botswana. Taught Basic News Writing and Reporting to journalism students, and Botswana Media Law to undergraduates in both journalism and law.

NATIONAL HEALTH & SCIENCE WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Correspondent in the Times Washington Bureau from 1989-1996. Wrote on contract for the Times from 1996 to 2002. Lead reporter in the Times’ coverage of national issues in science and health policy, receiving three New York Times Publisher's Awards for coverage of the tobacco industry, breast implants, and birth control politics. Wide range of topics covered include scientific misconduct, drug industry, federal health policy, abortion and AIDS.

NATIONAL STAFF WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST, 1980-1989. Wrote national news in science, technology, and medicine. Stories selected by the Post three times to be the paper's nominated work for the Pulitzer Prize, including work on AIDS in the U.S. and in Africa, on chemical and biological warfare, and on the Reagan Administration's attempt to sell America's weather satellite system and other parts of the space program to the highest bidders.

FREELANCE WRITER, 1973-1980. Regular contributor to the Washington Post Sunday Magazine and Science 80 magazine. Other freelance work appeared in the Reader's Digest, Psychology Today, American Film magazine, and the Congressional Quarterly's Editorial Research Reports.

REPORTER, THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Denver, 1972. Covered a variety of assignments in business and education for large circulation afternoon tabloid newspaper.

REPORTER, EDUCATION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON DAILY NEWS, 1970-1972. Covered general assignments, from homicides to personal features, then later covered all matters related to education for now-defunct afternoon daily.

REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER, THE VIRGINIA SENTINEL, 1969. As a general assignment reporter and photographer, wrote news and features in Northern Virginia for this suburban weekly paper.

REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER, THE SUBURBAN LIFE NEWSPAPERS, 1968-1969. Responsible for all the news from the jail to city hall in two suburban towns. Laid out pages, wrote headlines and captions for this suburban bi-weekly newspaper.

RX FOR SURVIVAL: WHY WE MUST RISE TO THE GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGE The Penguin Press 2005. A look at what is working in public health around the world, and why we have cause for hope. "A clarion call to devote many more resources, human and financial, to improving health conditions in poor countries." -Richard Cooper, Foreign Affairs. “Hilts is a skilled storyteller who weaves together the most pressing global health issues of our time with surprising examples of inventive problem-solving.” Jackie Judd, Vice President of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

PROTECTING AMERICA’S HEALTH: THE FDA, BUSINESS AND ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF REGULATION. Knopf, 2003. The only history of the Food and Drug Administration, this book tells the story of the fight over using science as the basis of public policy. Named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. “A genuinely important book, rich in history, accurate in detail, unflinching in analysis.”- Dr. Jerome Groopman, New Republic “. Hilts “writes with both a historian’s attention to dissection and analysis and with the flourish and vividness of an experienced journalist aware of the drama inherent in the story he is telling.” -Dr. Sherwin Nulan, New York Times Book Review.

SMOKESCREEN: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY COVER-UP. Addison-Wesley, 1996. This book is an investigation of the tobacco industry's forty-year disinformation campaign on cigarette smoking, from Hilts, who was the reporter who broke the story of the tobacco companies' thousands of pages of secret documents. His reports were among those that started the "tobacco wars" in the United States, which continue today in the courts. Selected as one of the “ten best books of the year” by Business Week, and was a finalist in the London Financial Times global business book awards. "A penetrating look behind the facade of Big Tobacco." -New York Review of Books.

MEMORY’S GHOST: THE NATURE OF MEMORY AND THE STRANGE TALE OF MR. M. Simon & Schuster, 1995. The story of Mr. M, whose memory was removed accidentally during a surgery in 1953, and what we began to learn about memory from his case. Traces the study of memory over the past 3,000 years in science and literature, and through Henry's case tells about the matter and meaning of memory. The book was named a New York Times Book Review "Notable Book of the Year" during 1995. "This stimulating, resonant beautifully written investigation looks at memory through the multiple prisms of science, literature and history." -Publisher's Weekly. "Few tales are more fascinating than that of Henry M." -Howard Gardner, The New York Times Book Review.

SCIENTIFIC TEMPERAMENTS: THREE LIVES IN CONTEMPORY SCIENCE. Simon & Schuster, 1982. A penetrating look at the human side of science, and how the human element drives the rational endeavor. Examines the quirky lives and work of three founding scientists in artificial intelligence, molecular biology and particle physics. A finalist for the National Book Award. Non-fiction. "Nothing short of amazing...This book is absolutely diamond bright." -The Los Angeles Times. "Elegantly written... Endearing, feisty, amusing, even spiritual…all the things we too often believe science is not." -Washington Post

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT, Fellowship at the Shorenstein Center for the Press and Politics, 2007.
HARVARD UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, Center for Health Communications, Fellowship 1994-1995
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT IRVINE, Case Fellowship in Neuroscience, 1994

MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY, Woods Hole MA, Science Writing Fellowship, 1986

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Nieman Fellowship in Journalism, 1984-85


2004 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE for the year’s best book in Science and Technology, for Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business and One Hundred Years of Regulation.

1996 NATIONAL JOURNALISM AWARD, AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION for tobacco coverage in the New York Times. National Media Award, The American Psychological Association, 1983. First prize for national reporting.

1994 PUBLISHER’S AWARD, NEW YORK TIMES for breaking the story of the tobacco papers.

1992 PUBLISHER’S AWARD, NEW YORK TIMES for breaking the story of breast
implants, experimentation on women and the deceit in the cosmetic device industry.

1990 PUBLISHER’S AWARD, NEW YORK TIMES for stories on contraception.

1982 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST for Scientific Temperaments
1982 FRONT PAGE AWARD, WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWSPAPER GUILD, First prize for national reporting.


Board of Directors, Howard Simons Foundation for Native American Journalism.

Frequent Panelist on local and national radio and television talk shows on health and science topics

Committee Member and subcommittee Chair, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, panel on the future of clinical research in America, 1996-1997.

Judge on journalism awards for: Media Institute for Southern Africa’s National Media Awards, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Knight Fellowship (4 times), The American Association for the Advancement of Science awards (3 times), the National Press Foundation awards (2 times), The American Public Health Association awards (2 times), The Centers for Disease Control awards (2 times), American Chemical Society prize (2 times), and the American Cancer Society awards (2 times).