Vivian Siegel is the director of education and outreach at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. While she is formally trained as a scientist, she is also an accomplished communicator and educator of science with deep expertise in scientific publishing and open-access journals. Siegel has served as editor of leading scientific journals, including Cell and PLOS Biology, and most recently founded and directed the Center for Science Communication (CSC) at Vanderbilt University. Siegel created the CSC to share with Vanderbilt researchers what she has learned as an editor about how to communicate science clearly and publish strategically. She is writing a book on writing and publishing research for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Siegel also has a long history in science education and outreach, beginning as an undergraduate teaching assistant in biochemistry and mathematics classes and as the student coordinator of the self-paced calculus program at Bowdoin College. She also volunteered in the UCSF Science and Health Education partnership. While on the faculty at Vanderbilt, she co-taught an undergraduate course on the Communication of Science and Technology, a first-year graduate student section on reading scientific manuscripts, a first-year graduate student module on the pathobiology of prostate cancer, and a second-year graduate student course in cell biology. She also ran workshops for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty in manuscript writing and publishing strategy. She is on the editorial board of CBE – Life Sciences Education, with specialties in graduate student education and the value of incorporating writing into undergraduate science courses.
Prior to her current position, Siegel was the founding executive director of the Public Library of Science, where her reputation as a former chief editor of Cell, Developmental Cell, and Molecular Cell helped the open-access organization attract submissions of important research to its new journals, including PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. The resulting success of these journals demonstrated the feasibility of making primary research free to the public; she continues to support this cause by discussing changes in scholarly publishing at events around the globe. She was also the founding editor-in-chief of Disease Models & Mechanisms and the executive editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Siegel joined the Broad Institute as its Director of Scientific Education and Public Communication in January 2012, and began her current position in May 2013.
Siegel received her A.B. in biochemistry and mathematics from Bowdoin College and her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, San Francisco.