Philip Hilts

Philip Hilts was the moderator for the Forum’s discussions on Trust in Vaccines, Health as a Gateway to Global DevelopmentVaccinating Children and Pesticides and Food.

Philip Hilts is a Research Associate at MIT and the former director of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships there. He is the author of six books and was a science reporter for both The New York Times and The Washington Post. His journalism career began in 1968. He was the Times reporter who broke the story of the tobacco industry’s 40-year cover-up of its own research showing that tobacco was harmful and addictive. His book, Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

During some 20 years at the Times and the Post, and in more than 300 front-page stories, Mr.  Hilts has reported from such disparate locales as a mile deep in the Pacific Ocean while aboard the submersible Alvin, and a Zambian village where a traditional healer was “curing” AIDS. His articles on the inaccuracy of hypnosis-induced court testimony led to four men being freed from jail. Mr. Hilts is also the author of Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation, a history of the Food and Drug Administration that tells the story of the fight over using science as the basis of public policy. It won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Mr. Hilts has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and twice a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is also a commentator on health and science issues for National Public Radio.