Claudia Dreifus is a journalist, educator and lecturer, producer of the weekly feature “Conversation with…” of the Science Section of the New York Times, and known for her interviews with leading figures in world politics and science. She is adjunct associate professor of international affairs and media at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University.
Education and career
Dreifus obtained her bachelor of science in dramatic arts from New York University. She began to work as a journalist in the 1960s and established a reputation for her incisive interviews with famous persons in politics and culture. In the 1990s, she worked as a teacher in the Graduate Department of English at the City University of New York.
She has written extensively on the lives of American and international scientists. Her works have appeared in various journals including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Smithsonian, AARP The Magazine, and Scientific American. They have also appeared in Ms., The Nation, Playboy, The Progressive, Mother Jones and others.
Her recent interviewees have included in 2012 Eric R. Kandel and Ruslan M. Medzhitov, in 2011 George Dyson, Jack W. Szostak, Daniel Lieberman, Stephen Hawking, Janet Rowley, in 2010 Jane Goodall, David Weatherall, Diana Reiss, Vanessa Woods, Elaine Fuchs, Jeffrey L. Bada, Sean M. Carroll, Peter Pronovost, Samuel Wang, in 2009 Frank A. Wilczek, Laurence Steinberg, Brian J. Druker, Carol W. Greider, Martin Chalfie, Paul Root Wolpe
In their 2010 book Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—and What We Can Do About It, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus critically scrutinize the system of academia that provides higher education, and question the driving factors behind tuition payments, money spending and financial investments in academia.
Honors, awards and affiliations
Among various honors and affiliations, Dreifus is senior fellow of the World Policy Institute. In 2006, she was inducted as honorary member of Sigma Xi, and in 2007 she was awarded the Career Achievement Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Earlier awards to Dreifus included, in 1980, a Special Award for Service to Women from the New York YWCA and obtained three awards in 1987: the Outstanding Magazine Article Award from American Society of Journalists and Authors for Rodrigo's Last Trip Home, the American Values Award for How Rural Woman are Saving the Family Farm, and the American Jewish Press Association's Simon Rockower Award for Distinguished Commentary for Why I Write. She was nominated for the National Magazine Award of 1992 by TV Guide for TVs Censor from Tupelo, an investigative report on censorship.
- Andrew Hacker, Claudia Dreifus: Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—and What We Can Do About It, Henry Holt & Co., 2010, ISBN 978-0805087345
- Andrew Hacker, Claudia Dreifus: The Athletics Incubus: How College Sports Undermine College Education, Henry Holt and Co., 2011 (previously published as part of Higher Education?), ISBN 978-1429958608
- Andrew Hacker, Claudia Dreifus: The Golden Dozen: Is the Ivy League Worth the Dollars?, 2011 (previously published as part of Higher Education?), ISBN 9781429958745
- Claudia Dreifus: Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science from the New York Times, Times Books, 2002, ISBN 978-0805071801
- Claudia Dreifus: Interview, Seven Stories Press, 1999, ISBN 978-1888363425, with a foreword by Clyde Haberman
- Claudia Dreifus: Seizing our bodies: the politics of women's health, Vintage Books, 1977, ISBN 978-0394723600
- Claudia Dreifus: Woman's fate: raps from a feminist consciousness-raising group, Bantam Books, 1973
- Claudia Dreifus: Radical lifestyles, Lancer Books, 1971 (summary)
- Claudia Dreifus, World Policy Institute (downloaded 24 March 2012)
- About the author (2002), Scientific Conversations, Amazon.com (downloaded 25 March 2012)
- BIO. Andrew and Claudia: Writer/Teachers…Teacher/Writers, www.highereducationquestionmark.com (downloaded 24 March 2012)
- SIPA faculty: Claudia Dreifus Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) (downloaded 24 March 212)
- New York Times articles by Claudia Dreifus (downloaded March 24 2012)
- Claudia Dreifus' remarks on Higher Education? Dreifus and Hacker Discuss the State and Future of the Academy (audio file). From: SIPA News and Events (downloaded 24 March 2012)
- We're thrilled to welcome Claudia Dreifus and Andrew Hacker to our speaking raster!, Jodi Solomon Speakers Bureau, May 24, 2010 (downloaded March 25, 2012)
- Dreifus to be Inducted as Honorary Member of Science Honor Society, SIPA (downloaded 24 March 2012)
- Claudia Dreifus Awarded Career Achievement Award from ASJA, SIPA (downloaded 24 March 2012)