Our Advisors

Critica has recruited a distinguished panel of experts in a wide variety of disciplines that are critical to its mission. These advisors keep us current in their fields, including public health, medicine, science education, science journalism, behavioral economics, psychiatry, psychology, and neurobiology. They prepare and review content for our website, help us design new approaches to improving science communication, and recommend new avenues to further the Critica mission. Our panel of advisors includes the following scientific leaders:

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Professor Emeritus, Capilano University

Mark Battersby is the author of Is That a Fact? A Field Guide to Statistical and Scientific Information, and, along with Sharon Bailin, Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking, as well as numerous articles on critical thinking. He specializes in critical thinking about scientific information particularly epidemiological research.

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Associate Professor of Psychology, MacEwan University

Rodney Schmaltz is an Associate Professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His research focuses on pseudoscientific thinking, with an emphasis on strategies to promote and teach scientific skepticism. Dr. Schmaltz strives to better understand why people believe in strange things like ghosts, aliens, or psychic powers and find strategies to help combat these beliefs.


Senior Manager, Corporate and Foundation Relationships, Management Sciences for Health

Olumide has more than 10 years of experience as a senior strategic advisor, technical specialist and thought leader for health and international development organizations. His portfolio of solutions spans a multitude of sectors including health, education and economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, and the USA. His expertise bridging messaging gaps is specialized for strategy & new business development in challenging operating environments. He serves on the board of the National Capital Area chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA.

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Professor of Psychology, Hebrew University

Eran Halperin is Professor of Psychology at Hebrew University.  His research uses psychological and political theories and methods to investigate different aspects of inter-group conflicts. He is interested in widening the understanding regarding the psychological roots of some of the most destructive political ramifications of inter-group relations. Most of his studies concentrate on the role of emotions and emotion regulation in determining public opinion towards peace and equality, on the one hand, and war and discrimination, on the other.

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Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of New Mexico

William R. Miller is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico where he served as Director of Clinical Training for the doctoral program in clinical psychology and co-founder of the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions. His publications span more than 50 books and 400 articles and chapters, and the Institute for Scientific Information has listed him as one of the world’s most-cited scientists.

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Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University

Sharon Bailin is a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Her work focuses on critical thinking and on inquiry across the disciplines. She has published numerous articles on critical thinking, and is the author, along with Mark Battersby, of Reason in the Balance: An Inquiry Approach to Critical Thinking. Her particular interest is on educating for reasoned judgment and on countering the resistance to reason among students and the population more generally.

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Executive Director, USC Center for the Political Future


Kambiz "Kamy" Akhavan, former CEO of ProCon.org, the nation's leading source of nonpartisan research on controversial issues, now leads the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California. As the Executive Director, Kamy oversees the operations of all Center components including the Unruh Institute of Politics, the Fellow's Program, the USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll, and community and global engagement. Kamy's work in bridging divides has served more than 250 million people. He has been published and interviewed extensively including in Reuters, Associated Press, Fox News, ABC, Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and CBS.


Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Yale School of Public Health

Durland Fish, Ph.D. is a Professor Emeritus at Yale where he lectures in epidemiology of vector-borne diseases and in global health at Harvard School of Public Health. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Lyme Disease Foundation. He has presented over 100 papers at professional meetings and has published more than 150 scientific journal articles in entomology, ecology, and epidemiology. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Science, Science News, Audubon Magazine and the New York Times, and he has appeared on numerous television programs including NBC News, NBC Today Show, ABC Nightline, CBS This Morning, and was featured in documentaries produced by The Discovery Channel and BBC.


Associate Professor of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York

Dr. Starks has a long-standing interest in how interpersonal relationships influence health behavior. For more than a decade, his research has specifically examined substance use and HIV-related health in sexual minority men. The culmination of this work has been the development of a framework for Motivational Interviewing with couples. A licensed clinical psychologist and member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, he is active as an MI trainer and clinical supervisor.


Senior Director, Janssen R&D

Carrie Corboy is a licensed pharmacist with 9 years of experience in various healthcare settings and 21 years of experience in various pharmaceutical industry roles. Her focus has been in areas of compliance, policy, and development of new medications. Her current projects include a considerable focus on patient engagement. Carrie has a strong personal and professional interest in improving people’s understanding of scientific information.

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Research Fellow in Neuroscience, King's College London

Kris De Meyer is a neuroscientist working at King’s College London. He co-produced “Right Between Your Ears”, a documentary about how we become convinced that our beliefs are right and how we deal with being wrong. Kris teaches science communication workshops and collaborates with scientists and professionals in the cultural sector to make public debates about controversial issues (such as climate change and Brexit) more constructive. He is currently writing a book about how we judge other people.


Assistant Professor of History, University of British Columbia

Dr. Heidi Tworek is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and a visiting fellow at the Joint Center for History and Economics at Harvard University. Her work examines the history of health communications to understand how we can learn from the past to improve communications today. She has published over a dozen academic articles and policy papers as well as in outlets like The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, and Wired.

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Publisher, Founder, Healthnewsreview.org

Gary Schwitzer has specialized in health care journalism for nearly 50 years. He worked in local news in Milwaukee and Dallas, and in national news with CNN in Atlanta. He then produced shared decision-making videos at Dartmouth and was editor in chief of the MayoClinic.com website. He earned tenure teaching health care journalism and media ethics at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the UMN School of Public Health. He is probably best known as the founder and publisher of the website HealthNewsReview.org, which has published more than 6,000 articles about how media messages influence the public dialogue about health care. For the Association of Health Care Journalists, he wrote the organization’s original Statement of Principles and a guide on how to report on medical research studies. For the Kaiser Family Foundation, he wrote a white paper on the state of US health care journalism.  

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Professor of Psychology, Keene State College

Larry Welkowitz received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1985. He has been on the faculties of Columbia University (College of Physicians and Surgeons) and Antioch New England Graduate School and is currently Professor of Psychology at Keene State College. He is the co-author of two books: The Hidden Face of Shyness (Avon Books, 1996) and Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome: Interventions for Therapists, Educators, and Communities (Lawrence Erlbaum Press, 2004). Dr. Welkowitz is also Principal Investigator of an NIH/INBRE supported study of language and Autism.

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Associate Professor, Waikato Clinical Campus, University of Auckland

Dr. Menkes is a psychiatrist with a background in psychology and pharmacology (PhD 1983, Yale).  He has worked as an academic liaison psychiatrist in both New Zealand and the UK.  Dr. Menkes has a continuing interest in psychopharmacology and in the management of conflicts of interest in medicine. He is a member of the Uppsala Monitoring Centre (WHO Centre for International Drug Monitoring), the NZ Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee, and the Mental Health Subcommittee of PHARMAC. He has also worked with the International Society of Drug Bulletins in developing conflict-of-interest policies.

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Principal and Owner, SP3 Innovations

Judith Samuels, PhD is currently Principal and Owner of SP3 Innovations, an active consultancy to nonprofit and government agencies. Dr. Samuels has an MBA from Rutgers University and a PhD in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. She has had appointments as the Head of the Policy Analytic Lab and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Policy and Services research Lab (CHAMPS) at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, as an Assistant Professor at the NYU Medical School Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and as a Research Professor and an Adjunct Professor at the Steinhardt Graduate School in Global Public Health and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, both at NYU.


Professor of Communication, Cornell University

Jeff Niederdeppe is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in
the Department of Communication at Cornell University. He is Director of
Cornell's Health Communication Research Initiative (HCRI) and Co-Directs the Cornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq). His research examines the mechanisms and effects of mass edia campaigns, strategic messages and news
coverage in shaping health behavior and social policy. He received the CALS Research and Extension Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Science
and Public Policy in 2019, the Early Career Award in 2016 from the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section of the American Public Health
Association and the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award in 2014 from the Kentucky Conference on Health
Communication. He is an Associate Editor f Communication Methods and Measures and serves on the editorial boards for eight other journals.