Robert Bazell joins Baker Institute as nonresident fellow in science and technology policy

Award-winning American science and health journalist Robert Bazell has been named the nonresident fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the institute announced April 17.

Robert Bazell


Bazell, who is currently the chief science and health correspondent at NBC News, will focus on the intersections of science and health journalism and public policy. He announced he will be leaving the network this summer to take an adjunct faculty position at Yale University in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

“I am deeply honored to be returning to academia and to be associated with such excellent institutions as Rice and the Baker Institute,” Bazell said. “I admire the research and I hope to make a meaningful contribution.”

Bazell will work in the institute’s Science and Technology Program with Neal Lane, Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor and senior fellow in science and technology policy, and with fellow in science and technology policy Kirstin Matthews. He will regularly visit the institute to lecture and meet with students.

“Robert Bazell has been one of America’s leading science and health journalists of the past three decades,” said Edward Djerejian, founding director of the Baker Institute. “His expertise on a wide range of subjects in science, technology and medicine will be a valuable resource to the Baker Institute and the broader Rice community.”

A cornerstone of the Baker Institute’s research focus, the Science and Technology Policy Program aims to engage policymakers and scientists in substantive dialogue with the hope that policy will more accurately reflect and be more consistent with current scientific knowledge.

“Robert Bazell is a perfect match for the Science and Technology Program with our Civic Scientist program emphasis on public understanding of science,” Matthews said. “Who is better at helping explain science to a general audience than Robert?”

Bazell’s reports appear on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” Bazell began his journalism career in 1971 as a writer for the “News and Comment” section of Science magazine. A year later, he moved to the New York Post as a reporter. In 1976, before he joined NBC News, he was briefly a reporter with WNBC-TV, the NBC television station in New York. He has been working for NBC for more than three decades.

He has received hundreds of awards for his reports, including five Emmys, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award and a Gracie Award. He has also received a George Foster Peabody Award for exemplifying “the best reporting on science and medicine.” His book “HER-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer” (Random House, October 1998) was made into a 2008 Lifetime movie called “Living Proof.”

Bazell is a 1967 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry. He also holds a Candidate in Philosophy degree in immunology from Berkeley.

For more information about the Science and Technology Program, visit

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.