Natasha Mitchell ’06

Natasha Mitchell is an Australian radio journalist and currently the host of Life Matters,  an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) morning show. Its tagline reads: “Life, but not always as you know it”.

Social issues are relatively new reporting territory for Mitchell.  During her undergrad years, she studied engineering. After completing a graduate degree in science communication, she became a radio journalist and founded a radio show called All in the Mind, which covers neuroscience, psychology, and culture. “It was a dream job, and a rare one in the business,” Mitchell recalled. “I’d created it from the ground up and it was really creative, lateral work blending all sorts of voices and disciplines.”

But by the mid-2000s, Mitchell was thinking about ways to build up her knowledge in biology, neuroscience, and social sciences. She  decided to applyto the Knight Fellowship. and use it to deepn her scientific understanding. During her year in Cambridge,  Mitchell took classes in Animal Law and Human Rights at Harvard, as well as discussion-based seminars on science at MIT.  She capped off her year in America with a month-long fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

After completing the Knight Fellowship in 2006,  Mitchell continued hosting All in the Mind, until 2012, when she switched over to Life Matters. “It has taken me away from full-time science reporting for now, but has given me the opportunity to work in a fast paced, daily, live setting and really hone the radio craft,” Mitchell wrote.

In the past few years, she has also hosted a series of public discussions about science with the Dalai Lama and served on the board of the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Mitchell points out that journalism fellowships like KSJ offer a unique opportunity to learn new fields without the time constraints of reporting or the academic constraints of grad school. “You are neither an academic nor a student nor a journalist,” she said. “That ambiguity can take some getting used to…but milk the freedom and possibility for all its worth.”