Pagan Kennedy’s (‘11) June New York Times piece, “The Rape Kit’s Secret History,” landed like a heavyweight punch to the gut. The 8,000-word essay told the gripping story of Marty Goddard — the Chicago activist who was the driving force behind the 1970s invention of the rape-kit — and the men who would ultimately take most of the credit for her work.
The story was featured in Longreads and within weeks became the subject of a TV and film bidding war, says Kennedy, who fielded more than a dozen inquiries from actors and companies interested in adapting the piece. During one whirlwind week, she took calls with Amy Schumer, Rachel Wiesz, the producers of Law and Order, and several other Hollywood players.
Ultimately, Kennedy struck a deal with Touchstone/Disney for a TV series produced by a team that includes showrunner Sarah Treem. Golden Globe winning actress Claire Danes is set to star in the series, and Kennedy will be an Executive Producer.
Bethany Brookshire (’20) has signed a deal to write her debut book, “Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains.” Brookshire’s signing was selected as the “Deal of the Day” at Publisher’s Marketplace, where the forthcoming book was described this way:
“… a study that combines science, journalism, and narrative in exploration of a new big idea: that those animals we deem to be pests — such as mice, rats, deer, pigeons and many more — are considered such not as a result of the animal’s behavior, but because of our own perceptions, beliefs, and actions, and what this reveals about ourselves and our impact on the natural world.”
Pests will be published by Ecco, a New York-based imprint of HarperCollins. Brookshire is currently a staff writer at Science News.
Mićo Tatalović (‘18) was named a runner up for the 2020 European Science Journalist of the Year award, finishing behind Russian journalist Maria Pazi. The announcement was made in Trieste at this year’s European Conference of Science Journalism. A press release announcing the award lauds Tatalović as “one of the most prominent figures in European science journalism in recent years both as a writer and editor.”
Tatalović, who has previously worked for New Scientist, Nature, and SciDev.Net, is now a news editor at Research Professional News.
Valeria Román (´04) was recently named head of a new science-focused news section at Río Negro, a Spanish-language newspaper serving the Patagonia region of Argentina. Called Bio, the science news section brands itself as “journalism for the right to science.” Among the stories that have run so far is one about Fran Bubani, the first openly trans researcher at the Bariloche Atomic Center, a leading Argentine science institution. Watch Román’s interview with Bubani here.
Here’s what other alumni are writing, a compendium from Federico Kukso (‘16):
Betsy Mason (‘16): “Election Maps Are Everywhere. Don’t Let Them Fool You.” The New York Times.
Ibby Caputo (‘15): “A Perfect Match: The inequalities in US healthcare exposed through a deeply personal story,” BBC.
Herton Escobar (‘07): “‘Another piece of populist propaganda’: Critics slam the Brazilian government’s new COVID-19 drug,” Science.
Andrada Fiscutean (‘20): “How Indiana Jones, Rambo, and others ended up in 1980s Czechoslovak text-adventures,” Ars Technica.
Federico Kukso (‘16): “White memory: The fight for the search, rescue and restoration of the audiovisual material registered in the Argentine Antarctica,” La Nación (in Spanish).
Teresa Firmino (‘09): “Seven doctors face disciplinary proceedings for spreading disinformation about Covid-19,” Publico (in Portuguese).
Amina Khan (‘19): “Coronavirus Today: The sacrifices of nurses,” The Los Angeles Times.
Valeria Román (‘05): “The pandemic can be an opportunity to deal with mental health problems that were not previously treated,” Río Negro (in Spanish).
Jason Dearen (‘19): “White House puts ‘politicals’ at CDC to try to control info,” The Associated Press.
Thiago Medaglia (‘20): “SMOKE SCREEN: An in-depth analysis of fire and deforestation data in the Amazon,” Ambiental Media.
Steve Mirsky (‘04): “Nobelist Talks CRISPR Uses,” Scientific American.
Wycliffe Muga (‘07): “Nothing matters more than agriculture policy,” The Star.
Chris Mooney (‘10): “After a college town’s coronavirus outbreak, deaths at nursing homes mount,” The Washington Post.
Richard Friebe (‘07): “The non-Nobel Prize winners: An unknown Lithuanian and a biotech wunderkind,” Der Tagesspiegel (in German).
Rowan Philp (‘10): “Tracking the Superspreader Events Driving the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Global Investigative Journalism Network.
Maryn McKenna (‘14): “In the US, 50 States Could Mean 50 Vaccine Rollout Strategies,” Wired.