Faculty & Staff

Jon Palfreman

Jon Palfreman

Professor Emeritus


Jon Palfreman is an Emmy, Dupont and Peabody Award-winning journalist. His published work includes more than forty hours of prime-time television documentaries (for BBC and PBS), and two books. His recent focus has been in-depth investigative reports centered on the intersection of science & technology, policy and law, with such films as: ‘NOVA/FRONTLINE: What’s up with the Weather’ (about global climate change); ‘FRONTLINE: Currents of Fear’ (about the alleged health effects of power lines); and ‘NOVA/FRONTLINE: Harvest of Fear’ (about genetically modified food).

Journal of Parkinson’s Disease blog


PhD, University of Glamorgan, 2005
MS, University of Sussex, 1972
BS, University College, London, 1971

Areas of Expertise

  • Documentary
  • Science Journalism
  • Medical Journalism
  • Environmental Journalism

Recent citations/publications/professional work:

Forthcoming in September 2015. Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Diseases (Scientific American).

2015 Writer/producer. The Programmers, a trilogy of films (The Computers,” “The Coders,” and “The Future Makers”) about the role of women in computers. Distributed by Google.

2012 Writer, Producer, Director. FRONTLINE “Nuclear Aftershocks” (WGBH, Boston). A one-hour film about the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and its consequences for the future of nuclear energy.

2014 (with Dr J. William Langston). The Case of the Frozen Addicts: How the solution of an extraordinary medical mystery spawns a revolution in the understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Second edition. IOS 2014

Research Summary

Pursues in depth stories at the intersection of science, law and politics. Currently Jon has a strong interest in neuroscience.


Peabody Award
Emmy Award
Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton winner
Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Writing
The American Association for the Advancement of Science science writing prize (Three-time winner )
The National Association of Science Writers “Science-in-Society” Journalism Award (Three-time winner )
Winner of the Writers Guild Award for best script


The Journalistic Interview
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