Director, Science and Society
Brooke Smith is the Director of Science and Society at The Kavli Foundation, where she works to strengthen science’s relationship with society. Brooke is passionate about scientists engaging with various publics, and supporting those who enable scientists to communicate and engage effectively. At The Kavli Foundation, Brooke leads programs to build the field of public engagement with science, to support engagement efforts of Kavli’s partners, and advance science policies that enable a thriving scientific enterprise.
Her expertise and experiences are rooted in science, science communication, public engagement of science, public policy, science journalism and organizational leadership and development. Her career has continually focused on supporting science and scientists. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, Brooke served as the inaugural Executive Director of COMPASS, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to empowering scientists to be effective communicators and to engage in the public discourse about the environment. She has worked as a University-based communication professional for multi-campus scientific initiatives, as a consultant to foundations and non-profits, and with and for the federal government (for Booz Allen and Hamilton, as a consultant to the Department of Defense, as well as staff for EPA’s Office of Research and Development).
Brooke frequently writes and speaks about the state and future of the how we support science’s relationship with the public. Examples of her writing include “The Civic Science Imperative” (Stanford Social Innovation Review with coauthors Elizabeth Christopherson and Dietram Scheufele ), the chapter “Science Communication in the United States, It’s Complicated” co-authored with Bronwyn Bevan in an international volume about the history of science communication around the world (The emergence of modern science communication edited by Toss Gascoigne), the contributed chapter “A Metro for Science Engagement: Building and Infrastructure to Support Scientists’ Communication and Engagement” (Science Communication Theory and Best Practices, edited by Todd P. Newman) and written numerous blogs, given talks and participated on panels about science engagement.
Brooke has served on national boards including the National Caucus for Environmental Legislators and the Surfrider Foundation. She has been a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow, courtesy faculty at Oregon State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Roundtable on the Public Interfaces of Life Sciences. She has served on a number of advisory boards including the National Academy of Sciences' LabX. She has been a judge for international science engagement efforts, such as Falling Walls Engage and the Silbersalz International Science and Media Festival. She currently serves on the Center for Media Engagement Board at U.T. Austin’s Moody College of Communication.
She lives in Culver City, CA, with her husband and two daughters where they enjoy all kinds of biking (from bike commuting to mountain biking). They love living in sunny Los Angeles and enjoy the year-round local produce, but do wish it was easier to go skiing.