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WGBH News and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Launch Editorial Partnership

Public broadcaster will draw on Cambridge-based Academy’s experts to inform local coverage


Press Release

BOSTON, Mass. | May 27, 2015 – In its continuing efforts to provide insight and depth in coverage of local issues, WGBH News has formed an editorial partnership with The Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge to tap the expertise of its more than 5,000 fellows. The collaboration will provide local audiences with greater access to Academy research and the expertise of its members, as well as a more comprehensive understanding of local, national and international issues through WGBH News reporting.

As one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, the Academy convenes leaders from academic, business and government sectors to address critical challenges facing global society. It produces studies, publications and programs on the humanities, arts, and education; science and technology; global security and international affairs; and American institutions and the public good.

“WGBH News strives to bring a greater layer of depth and substance to our reporting. With this new partnership, our newsroom will have access to some of the most forward-thinking experts and research across a range of disciplines, from science and innovation to international relations, the arts and social justice. Not only will we be able to offer our audiences a greater understanding of the world around them, but we will also contribute to national conversations through a local lens,” said Phil Redo, WGBH General Manager for Radio. “WGBH News is particularly pleased to collaborate with a local organization that reflects the unique wealth of expertise that the Boston region boasts.”

The Academy’s focus priorities align with WGBH News’ core coverage areas, and the two organizations will work together to produce reporting features and community events that highlight world-leading discourse on these topics. WGBH’s Forum Network also will record lectures from the Academy and make them available to the public in its free online archive.

In its first editorial collaboration, WGBH News will work closely with the Academy on a special report series focusing on water concerns. The project is based on a forthcoming issue of the Academy’s quarterly journal Dædalus and will examine the availability, security and sustainability of the natural resource across New England, the United States and the world, and the sensitive political and economic tensions that water presents to communities everywhere. The series is scheduled to air in July 2015.

“Through this collaboration with WGBH, the Academy will have new opportunities to advance its 235 year-old mission ‘to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, dignity, honor and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people,’” said Academy president Jonathan Fanton. “Our story began with John Adams, James Bowdoin, and other Bostonians who created the Academy to serve the Commonwealth and the new nation. A partnership with a Boston institution like WGBH continues this long and distinguished tradition of service. We are particularly delighted that the first product of our new collaboration will be a series of reports on our changing relationship with water, an issue of real concern for New England and for the world.”

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected thinkers, leaders and artists from each generation, from John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, and Alexander Graham Bell. Other distinguished members include Margaret Mead, Jonas Salk, Barbara McClintock, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Updike and Georgia O’Keeffe. Foreign Members have included Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Akira Kurosawa and Nelson Mandela. There are currently over 5,000 Academy Fellows around the world, including more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. Find more information at

About The American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge. As one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, the Academy convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to address critical challenges facing our global society. Through studies, publications, and programs on Science, Engineering, and Technology; Global Security and International Affairs; the Humanities, Arts, and Education; and American Institutions and the Public Good, the Academy provides authoritative and nonpartisan policy advice to decision-makers in government, academia, and the private sector.

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