The Learning Sciences Exchange Names 12 Fellows for First-Of-Its-Kind Program

Blog Post
July 1, 2018

Today in Philadelphia, 12 innovators across science, journalism, entertainment, and policy have come together from across North America and Europe to become part of the Learning Sciences Exchange. The program—the first of its kind—kicked off today in Philadelphia at the biannual meeting of the International Congress of Infant Studies with the announcement of fellowship awards for these dozen mid-career professionals who are sparking new ideas and fostering breakthrough approaches for communicating the insights of early learning.

The Learning Sciences Exchange, or LSX, is a cross-sector program designed to bring together journalists, entertainment producers, policy influencers, and researchers on the science of early learning. The program’s aim is to elevate new approaches for disseminating research findings and break down barriers between disciplines that do not typically have occasion to learn from each other. Fellows are encouraged to not only share insights on challenges and successes with their colleagues but also to collaborate in writing about their work over the next two years. In the summer of 2020, each fellow will be responsible for giving a short LSX Talk that will be livestreamed to audiences around the world.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, professor of psychology at Temple University and a senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Roberta Golinkoff, professor of linguistics and cognitive science at the University of Delaware, made the announcement today as part of their presidential address at the International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS), a biannual meeting of premier scientists in child development.

“Journalists, storytellers (such as movie producers), policy influencers, and learning scientists live in separate silos,” said Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, president and treasurer, respectively, of ICIS. “Though they often cover the same subject matter, they rarely consult or even know the practices of their neighbors. If we can converse across boundaries, the scientists can understand how to share the latest evidence with those in policy and the journalists can appreciate the nuances of the research they cover. All in all, we can learn from one another how to connect the dots in ways that improves the lives of children and their families.”

The 12 fellows named today are:

Robert Carpenter, director of the University of Southern California’s Media Institute for Social Change

Catherine de Lange, biomedical features editor, New Scientist

Sujata Gupta, freelance science journalist and recent MIT Knight journalism fellow

Melissa Hogenboom, senior science journalist, BBC Global News

Sacha Kyle, theater and television creator, director of CBeebies

Megan McClelland, professor of human development and family sciences, Oregon State University

Janna Pahnke, head of research & monitoring at Haus der kleinen Forscher (Little Scientists’ House)

Meredith Rowe, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lisa Scott, associate professor of psychology at the University of Florida and director of the Brain, Cognition and Development Research Laboratory.

Jill Shinderman, principal of Barclay Square Media

Elizabeth Shuey, policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Katie Whitehouse, program manager for early childhood success at the Institute for Youth, Education and Families at National League of Cities

Biographies for the fellows are on the Learning Sciences Exchange page. The program is funded by the Jacobs Foundation, a philanthropy based in Zurich that funds global research on learning and development and provides grants to scientists around the country.

Over the next two years, New America’s EdCentral blog and the Jacobs Foundation’ website will publish articles from these fellows and provide updates about the program’s progress. We’re excited about the potential for new outreach across sectors and a deepening of understanding amidst multiple communicators about the needs, capacities, and potential of young children around the world. Do you have questions about the program or ideas for our fellows? Reach us at and follow news about the Learning Sciences Exchange on Twitter at #LSX.

CORRECTION 7/2 at 5:49 pm ET: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the university where McClelland works and the type of work conducted by Kyle with CBeebies. McClelland is at Oregon State University, and Kyle is a director for CBeebies.

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Innovation in Education Digital Media and Learning Birth Through Third Grade Learning