Ellis Rubinstein

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Ellis Rubinstein is President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, a 191-year-old institution that is the third oldest scientific society in the United States. An award-winning journalist and Editor of Science for a decade, Rubinstein also contributed to The Scientist, Newsweek, Science 85 and IEEE Spectrum, the flagship journal of the engineering profession.

Education and early career[edit]

Rubinstein earned a B.A. and an M.A. at the University of California at Berkeley and taught English before entering the world of publishing. In 2006, Rubinstein received an honorary doctorate from Hallym University in South Korea and from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

He served as Managing Editor for Natural History magazine and as editor and writer for Science 86, and IEEE Spectrum. It was at Spectrum that Rubinstein won a National Magazine Award for his definitive journalistic account of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) and the special issue on TMI which he edited. He has also won National Magazine Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes of the magazine industry, for two special issues exploring how science and technology contribute to war and peace.

At Newsweek, Mr. Rubinstein oversaw general news coverage during one of the most intense periods in recent U.S. history—the Iran-Contra period — as well as specialty features in science, medicine, religion, and education. His signal achievement was a cover package entitled “The Search for Adam and Eve.” This was the first description for the general public of the then novel DNA-tracing of the origins of modern humans in Africa.

From 1993-2002 Rubinstein was Editor of Science magazine. During his tenure there, he conducted the first one-on-one interview with Chinese President Jiang Zemin granted to a Western magazine editor [1] and President Bill Clinton's first interview with a science magazine. Rubinstein also launched innovative online services such as a daily news service, ScienceNow, and Science's Next Wave, a unique, global Web site for graduate students and post-docs. He also initiated a novel Web-based service called SAGE KE (Science of Aging Knowledge Environment), creating a community of investigators pursuing the science of aging. He also negotiated the first national license to be paid for by the Chinese government for access to Western content. The service later came to be used by hundreds of thousands of Chinese investigators.

CEO of New York Academy of Sciences[edit]

In 2002, Rubinstein became President and CEO of The New York Academy of Sciences and became known for rejuvenating the 191-year-old institution through initiatives such as The New York Science Alliance for Graduate Students and Post Docs, a unique partnership of universities and academic medical centers that provides career-mentoring to over 7,000 young investigators. The Frontiers of Science Program has become a “science salon” for leading researchers in the hottest fields of science. An innovative Web content delivery mechanism, the eBriefing, provides scientists worldwide with leading-edge information from well over 100 events a year. Science & the City is a unique Web portal for scientists, parents, teachers and students, providing live links, updated daily, to exciting science-related events taking place throughout New York City and on radio and television. And Scientists Without Borders is a global alliance of national funding agencies, public/private partnerships, universities, corporations and foundations that is committed to enhancing the impact of sustainable development initiatives currently underway in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Rubinstein also oversaw the Academy’s move to 7 World Trade Center, the first building to be rebuilt on the former WTC site. [2].

Advocate of Global Science Collaborations[edit]

Throughout his career, Mr. Rubinstein has encouraged international collaboration among scientists. He developed a number of major international meetings, such as "Agents for Change," a gathering of European research VPs, foundation heads, university presidents and government leaders at Stockholm's Nobel Forum. He also pioneered in the creation of global partnerships with prestigious governmental institutions such as China's Ministry of Science and Technology; Japan's Society for the Promotion of Science; the United Kingdom's Ministry of Trade, the German Research Foundation, France’s INSERM, the European Science Foundation, and the European Commission.

Mr. Rubinstein is also a strong advocate of science [education] [3] and to this end, developed a unique alliance between the Nobel Foundation and its website called NobelPrize.org, the Swedish Consulatein New York and The New York Academy of Sciences. For three years, high school juniors at schools throughout the city of New York participated in a contest to write essays on Nobel Prize work. The three winning students in biology/medicine, chemistry and physics were provided expense-paid tickets to the Nobel ceremony and banquet.

Mr. Rubinstein and The New York Academy of Sciences have been invited to be partners in many international scientific meetings – Lyon’s BioVision, Kyoto’s Science & Technology in Society (STS) Forum, BioVision Alexandria, Eurobio in Paris, the Aspen Global Health Forum, etc. He was also, for 6 years, a member of the World Economic Forum, moderating numerous panels in Davos, Switzerland.

He is a Fellow of the AAAS and a member of the IEEE and the National Association of Science Writers. He has served on the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Board of Directors, the Science Advisory Board of Health Canada, and the External Advisory Board of Carnegie Mellon's School of Engineering and Public Policy.


1. "Ellis Rubinstein, President, NY Academy of Sciences: Catalyst for Excitement About Science in Schools.” Education Update, August 2005. [5]

2. "China's Leader Commits to Basic Research, Global Science." Science. June 16, 2000: Vol. 288. no. 5473, pp. 1950–1953.

3. "Setting up a global laboratory". Marie Curie Actions[6]

4. "New York Academy of Sciences Signs Lease At 7 WTC: Preeminent Scientific Institution to Take 40,000 SF on 40th Floor." [7]