John Rennie served as editor in chief of Scientific American (including the monthly magazine, Scientific American Mind, ScientificAmerican.com and other publications) between 1994 and 2009. During his tenure the magazine twice won National Magazine Awards with the single-topic issues What You Need to Know about Cancer (Sept. 1996) and A Matter of Time (Sept. 2002). One satirical essay that he wrote, “Okay, We Give Up” (April 2005), was also a finalist in the Essay and Commentary category. His 2002 article, “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense,” is one of the most read and downloaded articles in the history of ScientificAmerican.com.
Rennie’s numerous television and radio appearances include PBS’s Newshour, ABC World News, The CBS Early Show, the History Channel special Clash of the Cavemen, Discovery’s Apocalypse How, NPR’s Science Friday, Minnesota Public Radio’s Marketplace and many other programs. As a frequent public speaker, Rennie has appeared before audiences as diverse as those at the World Business Forum, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Wharton School of Business, the University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Middlebury College; he has also been featured twice at the World Life Sciences Forum in Lyon, France, and at a variety of other conferences.
Since 2009, he has also been an adjunct instructor in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University.
In 2000 Rennie was the recipient of the Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science, bestowed by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. In Sept. 2003 the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies honored him with its Navigator Award for distinguished service in support of national science and technology policy. He has served as a trustee of the James Randi Educational Foundation, on the board of managers for a Harlem Success Academy charter school in New York City, on the board of directors for the National Science Communication Institute and as an adviser to the Science & Entertainment Exchange. He is also a proud adviser to the New York City Skeptics.