In 2019, Pam Belluck (’08) wrote an intimate portrait, published in The New York Times, about women pursuing reconstructive surgery after being scarred by female genital cutting. Today, her reporting continues to reap plaudits in the New York journalism scene. A year ago, the piece was honored with the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Nellie Bly Award, for best frontpage story. It has now been honored again, this time with a New York Press Club Award. Belluck’s piece won in the newspaper category for science and technology feature writing.
The Press Club honor comes on the heels of another win for Belluck. She also took home a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York in the category of specialized reporting in Medicine/Health/Fitness for her reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Her winning package included the stories “32 Days on a Ventilator: One Covid Patient’s Fight to Breathe Again,” “‘Straight Up Fire’ in His Veins: Teen Battles New Covid Syndrome,” and “‘They Want to Kill Me’: Many Patients Have Terrifying Delirium.”
For an upcoming issue of the Journal of Science and Popular Culture, Mićo Tatalović (’18) takes a rare look into how science was represented in socialist-era Yugoslavia, particularly in the cult magazine Galaksija. Tatalović says the research project had origins in his time as a KSJ fellow three years ago. “One of the many great things about the fellowship is the time and flexibility it gives you to pursue interesting projects,” he says. “ And I spent part of the winter collecting data and writing up this paper.”
Explains Tatalović, Galaksija found a niche in freely reporting science from both sides of the Iron Curtain, apparently avoiding censorship and political influence on its science content by appeasing authorities with its political science articles in lead slots and on the covers. At the same time, Tatalović adds, the magazine seems to have managed to be subversive, with covers that featured socialist topics side-by-side with utopian myth of Atlantis.
Read the article here, in volume 3, issue 2 of the Journal of Science and Popular Culture.
Anil Ananthaswamy (’20) has signed with Dutton (Penguin Random House) to write his fourth book, tentatively titled “Why Machines Learn: The Mathematics Behind Artificial Intelligence.” The book builds off Ananthaswamy’s year of hands-on studies of machine learning as a KSJ fellow. It will explain “the history-making mathematics behind modern artificial intelligence, from the first perceptrons to today’s powerful deep neural networks,” reads an announcement from the publisher. Ananthaswamy’s previous books include “Through Two Doors at Once,” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”
Marica Bartusiak (’95), Professor of the Practice Emeritus of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, was recently featured on the podcast WritLarge, produced by Lyceum. She spoke with host Zachary Davis about astronomer Edwin Hubble’s historic 1935 book “Realm of the Nebulae.”
Here’s what other alumni are writing, a compendium from Federico Kukso (‘16):
Tim De Chant (’19): “The Cobalt Empire,” The Wire China.
Nick Clark (‘14): “Lessons from 2020: Reconnecting with nature, a force for good,” Al Jazeera.
Amina Khan (‘19): “Aiming for vaccine equity,” Los Angeles Times.
Iván Carrillo (‘17): “Mammoths in Mexico. The Paleontological Find of the Century,” Tec Review (with Aminetth Sánchez).
Tony Leys (‘20): “COVID-19 vaccinations begin in Iowa care facilities, which have been slammed by deadly outbreaks,” Des Moines Register.
Federico Kukso (‘16): “The forgotten Russian science,” Le Monde Diplomatique (in Spanish).
Teresa Carr (‘18): “Why Alzheimer’s Sufferers Seem Lost in Time and Place,” Texas Monthly.
Richard Fisher (‘20): “Time capsule 2020: The 37 objects that defined the year,” BBC.
Pablo Corea (‘13): “Camilo Solano, a musician trying to understand the pandemic,” El Espectador (in Spanish).
Maryn McKenna (‘14): “Yes to Masks. No to Parties. 2021 Will Be a Lot Like 2020,” Wired.
Teresa Firmino (‘09): “The challenge that started in a scientific article,” Publico (in Portuguese).
Ángela Posada-Swafford (‘01): “It is time for Colombia to jump into scientific diplomacy,” El Tiempo (in Spanish); “Stem Cells: The Unusual Novel Methodology to Treat Horses,” El Tiempo (in Spanish).