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Barbara Kline Pope

Barbara Kline Pope
Photo Credit: Paul Kennedy

Barbara Kline Pope is Executive Director for Communications and Executive Director of the National Academies Press at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

As the Executive Director for Communications she manages the National Academies’ brand, and is currently leading an institution-wide branding campaign. This includes comprehensive audience research, message and visual development, and digital media identity.

She also develops innovative and dynamic programs that bring science, engineering, and medicine to public audiences. This includes the California-based Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program that connects entertainment industry professionals with scientists and engineers to engender more realistic story lines and more positive portrayals of scientists and engineers on screen. She also launched the Science & Engineering Ambassadors program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to connect scientists and engineers with decision makers in their community.

Over the course of a decade, Barbara Kline Pope has fostered a culture of research-based communications at the National Academies, focused on engaging with new audiences, developing communication expertise in the institution, and embracing new technologies. With FrameWorks Institute, she investigated public attitudes about the value of behavioral and social sciences, which resulted in the 2016 launch of the ongoing From Research to Reward Series—a showcase of the benefits of foundational research in the sciences. Other projects include audience research for the 2008 Science, Evolution, and Creationism report; and a comprehensive study of electronic pricing and packaging of books on consumer behavior, coauthored with P.K. Kannan of the R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, which won the INFORMS Society for Marketing’s 2007 Science Practice Prize and was published in Marketing Science.

In order to help build the research base for science communication and apply it in practice, Pope managed the 2012, 2013, and forthcoming 2017 Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia on The Science of Science Communication, held in Washington, DC. These sold-out colloquia demonstrate the challenge of communicating science effectively and explore how social science can guide our approach to that communication.

Pope blends her responsibilities for communicating to diverse audiences with her leadership of the National Academies’ publishing operation, the National Academies Press (NAP). Since 1997, she has served as Executive Director of NAP, prior to which she was its Marketing Director. During her more than 30-year tenure, she has transformed the traditional print business model of NAP to provide free, open-access content. Today, NAP delivers more than 1.7 million free PDF files of published books annually, while also selling value-added e-books and printed content.

She is a past-president of the Association of American University Presses, is on the corporate advisory board of the Marketing Department at the University of Maryland, serves on the management boards of MIT Press and Purdue University Press, and is a frequent speaker at publishing and science communication venues.

She holds an M.S. from the University of Maryland and a B.S. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.