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Ashley Smart named associate director of the Knight Science Journalism Program

Smart, a senior editor at Physics Today, was a 2015-16 Knight Science Journalism Fellow.
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Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT
Ashley Smart
Ashley Smart
Photo: Maria Stenzel

The Knight Science Journalism Program (KSJ) at MIT has announced that Ashley Smart, senior editor at Physics Today and former KSJ fellow, will be joining the team in August as associate director.

As associate director, Smart will play a central role in helping to manage KSJ — an elite mid-career fellowship program that brings prominent science journalists from around the world for 10 months of study and intellectual exploration at MIT, Harvard University, and other institutions in the Boston area. He will also serve as a senior editor at Undark, the program’s award-winning digital science magazine, and help oversee alumni outreach and journalism training projects.

“We are thrilled to have Ashley join the KSJ staff in such a pivotal role,” says KSJ program director and Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Deborah Blum. “And we’re looking forward to working with him on expanding KSJ’s role as an increasingly valuable resource for science journalists around the world.”

Smart has worked as an editor at Physics Today, in Washington, for the past eight years, recently taking on oversight of its respected features section. He received a doctorate in chemical and biological engineering from Northwestern University in 2007, and followed that with a two-year postdoctoral position at Caltech. He was a member of the KSJ fellowship class of 2015-16. He is a co-chair of the diversity committee of the National Association of Science Writers and a member of the board of directors of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. He is a co-founder of the blog

“KSJ is really a tremendous resource for the science journalism community and one with a long, rich tradition,” Smart says. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to help build it further. And I’m excited to be returning both to the program and to MIT.”

Smart will succeed retiring associate director David Corcoran, who joined the program following a distinguished career at The New York Times, including serving as editor of the paper’s Science Times section. Corcoran will continue to serve as books editor of Undark and to work with the magazine’s popular podcast.

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