May 26, 1999
Joel N. Shurkin has been appointed bureau chief and editor of the Johns Hopkins Medicine channel of Medcast, the Internet daily news, information and education service for practicing physicians. Shurkin will be responsible for the daily preparation of Hopkins related material on the Medcast network.
Medcast is JHM's new venture with Greenberg News Network in Atlanta, and is distributed via the Internet through a non-Web-based system directly to subscribers' computers. The Hopkins channel presents a wide range of information about research and clinical practice from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Shurkin is a graduate of Emory University and attended Temple University School of Law. He has almost 30 years experience writing science and medicine for news agencies and newspapers. He was a general assignment reporter for United Press International in New Jersey, Baltimore, and Cleveland, and a war correspondent for UPI in the Middle East and the Dominican Republic. Shurkin was also national correspondent and science writer for Reuters in New York and, science editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was part of the Inquirer team that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the reactor accident at Three Mile Island. He won several other awards for his coverage of the space program during the Apollo and Spacelab missions.
He was National Endowment for the Humanities Professional Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, and stayed at Stanford as science writer in the Stanford News Service.
He also is the author of eight books on science and the history of science and technology, including Invisible Fire, a history of the eradication of smallpox, and Engines of the Mind, a history of the computer.
Before joining Hopkins Shurkin was a free lance writer based in Santa Cruz, Calif.. He is a columnist for HMSBeagle, a biology site on the Web, and editor of a website for a Public Broadcasting System documentary on the invention of the transistor. He has just completed a biography of William Bradford Shockley, one of the co-inventors of the transistor.
Shurkin is a member of the Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and is a member of the board of the National Association of Science Writers.