BIRC Staff

Get to know the BIRC staff.
Jory Weintraub

Jory Weintraub, PhD

BIRC Director

Jory is the founding director of Duke’s Broader Impacts Resource Center (BIRC) and a Steering Committee member for the National Alliance of Broader Impacts (NABI).  He received his BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and his PhD in Immunology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He completed an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in STEM Education, with a focus on outreach to underrepresented minority students, and then spent several years teaching undergraduate biology and running minority outreach programs.

In 2005 he joined the newly-funded National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), where he developed and ran local, national and international evolutionary biology outreach activities for students, teachers and the general public.  When NESCent’s funding concluded in 2015, he began his current position as the Science Communication Director and Senior Lecturing Fellow with the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in science communication and running science communication workshops for Duke faculty and postdocs.

In addition to serving as a NABI Steering Committee member, he is on the Board of Directors of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC), the Advisory Board for the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM) and the Editorial Board of the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach.  His work focuses on broader impacts practice/policy, minority outreach in STEM, science communication/outreach/education and faculty development.


Esko Brummel

BIRC Intern

While advocating for investment in research, scientists need a means to communicate why their work deserves to be funded and how their discoveries benefit society. Policymakers and the citizens, on the other hand, need to interpret these claims to inform their choice of policy while advocating what they think is ethical and worthwhile. Whether in Washington, D.C. or Washington County in rural North Carolina, robust science communication is crucial to facilitating this relationship though it is unclear whether the necessary training and Science Communication infrastructure is uniformly available. As a part of BIRC, Esko is joining others to narrow this gap by assisting Duke faculty as they craft their Broader Impacts for NSF grants and include the community in their projects.

Esko joins the Broader Impacts Resource Center as a Masters student in Bioethics and Science Policy within Duke’s Initiative for Science and Society. Prior to Duke, Esko served as a community organizer in Southwest Baltimore through AmeriCorps VISTA as well as a legislative assistant in the Maryland House of Delegates. At Duke and beyond BIRC, Esko is learning more ways to improve communication within the science community as a part of the Vice-provost of Research’s Visualizing Scholarship Networks Team and the Bass Connections Anti-Polarization working group. He is also contributor to Duke’s SciPol policy tracking site and the Science Communicators of North Carolina.

Rebecca Moreci

Becca Moreci

BIRC Intern

Becca Moreci is a PhD candidate in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Training Program and Cell Biology Department at Duke. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the College of Wooster. Following college, Becca gained experience in diverse fields of biology including immunology, reproductive science, and molecular biology by working as a technician in two different labs at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, Becca is a member of Dr. Terry Lechler’s lab, where she is studying skin development. Her involvement in Broader Impacts allows her to apply her diverse science background and outreach experience to create dialogue between scientists and the public. As a BIRC intern, she hopes to generate awareness and increase interest in the Broader Impacts initiatives among the student population, while connecting scientists and graduate students on campus to develop and implement Broader Impacts programs.


Juliet Taylor

BIRC Intern

Juliet is a Master’s student in the Bioethics and Science Policy program. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and is focusing her studies at Duke in environmental and public health and policy. Before coming to Duke, Juliet held several positions as an environmental educator, working primarily with children to promote interest in and awareness of local environmental issues. Currently, she is working on the D-CIPHER project, a Bass Connections research project at Duke compiling a case study of factors that influence environmental decision-making. She has also worked at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on a research project involving the legal proceedings that allow research institutions to collaborate on multi-site human subjects research. Working as an intern at BIRC allows her the opportunity to parallel her academic interests with her love of science communication and community outreach, and to promote the social implications of science among research students and faculty at Duke.