The science publishing giant Springer Nature just launched a brand new digital magazine, Nature Africa, and they’ve tapped former Knight Science Journalism Fellow Akin Jimoh (‘01) to serve as its inaugural Chief Editor. The magazine will report on scientific research and science policy across the African continent. “Our goal for Nature Africa is to shine a light on science in Africa and the scientists contributing to solving local and global problems whilst promoting scientific exchange across the continent,” Jimoh said in a press release announcing the magazine’s launch. “We hope to tell and be part of the African growth story which often does not receive the attention it deserves.”
For Jimoh, who is based in Nigeria, the move to Nature Africa marks the latest milestone in what has been a prominent career in African science journalism. Previously, Jimoh was founder and inaugural Chief Editor of Development Communications (DevComs) Network, a media development organization in science and public health journalism, headquartered in Lagos. He has also worked as a consulting editor at Africa Science Technology and Innovation (AfricaSTI), an online news publication.
Nature Africa launched on May 10, publishing news stories, research highlights, feature articles, opinion pieces and commentaries, in both English and French. Its content is being made freely available with the support of a consortium of institutional partners.
This May, Cathy Clabby (’08) stepped into a new role as Southeast investigations editor for McClatchy newspapers. She will lead a team of eight investigative journalists in North Carolina, based at the News & Observer in Raleigh and at The Observer in Charlotte. She’ll also support McClatchy editors and reporters pursuing accountability reporting in South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi.
Prior to this move, Clabby taught environmental reporting and news writing at DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University. She was lead editor for The 9th Street Journal there, directing a student team of reporters covering Durham. She also coached students working on the Duke Reporters’ Lab Tech & Check project, which innovates ways to automate portions of fact-checking journalism. Before joining Duke’s faculty, Clabby reported on the environment for North Carolina Health News.
Last July, Molly Segal (’20) began working with Canada’s CBC Radio on a new program dedicated to climate change solutions, called What On Earth. Less than a year in, the show is garnering accolades: It was named the winner of the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s new Award for Climate Solutions Reporting, which honors one work of print, broadcast, or online journalism that shines a spotlight on climate change and innovative solutions. A jury member said that the What On Earth series, which tackles a different climate issue every episode, “sets the high watermark for what climate journalism should be: smart, engaging, textured, both worrying and inspiring.”
Segal, one of the show’s producers, will be recognized along with her fellow What On Earth team members in a virtual award ceremony on June 9.
Kimani Chege (‘09) was recently selected as the inaugural “editorial fellow” of the Engineering for Change program (E4C), an initiative by the American Association of Mechanical Engineers focused on the intersection of engineering and global development and aimed at helping engineers worldwide to solve local and global challenges.
As an editorial fellow, Chege, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya, will work with the program’s engineering fellows to produce a series of articles for the E4C website and for Mechanical Engineering magazine. Since his Knight Science Journalism Fellowship, Chege has been actively reporting on a range of science topics for publications both in Kenya and abroad.
In December, Dianne Finch (‘09) published “Big Data in Small Slices: Data Visualization for Communicators.” The book is designed to introduce data novices to data analysis and visualization, with an eye toward communication and storytelling — and with a strong science bent: Two of the book’s four chapters explore the data on ocean acidification.
From the publisher’s description “Using the concept of the “data backstory,” each chapter features discussions with experts, from marine scientists to pediatricians and city government officials, who produce datasets in their daily work. The reader is guided through the process of designing effective visualizations based on their data, delving into how datasets are produced and vetted, and how to assess their weaknesses and strengths, ultimately offering readers the knowledge needed to produce their own effective data visuals.”
Experts warn that we are living in an infodemic — a media climate riddled with misinformation and false claims. Mićo Tatalović (’18) is part of a collaborative effort that’s working to do something about that problem. With Transitions, a leading journalism education organization in Central Europe, Tatalović has helped create a new, free science journalism course aimed at journalists in Ukraine, Romania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of a three-part series on doing “journalism during an infodemic.” In addition to the science journalism course, it includes modules on debunking myths and fact checking.
“The idea was to create quick crash courses with practical elements to empower local journalists to report more confidently on science, and specifically on Covid-19 and vaccines,” says Tatalović. “In a video, I introduce and guide participants through the science journalism module of the course, which gives an overview of the scientific method and a 101 of reporting on science.”
The course is offered in three language packages — one each for Ukraine, Romania, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. “You can complete the entire crash course in just two hours,” the course’s tag line promises.
Here’s what other alumni are writing, a compendium from Federico Kukso (‘16):
Andrada Fiscutean (‘20): “The 10 most dangerous cyber threat actors,” CSO.
Jeff Tollefson (‘06): “Controversial forestry experiment will be largest-ever in United States,” Nature.
Maryn McKenna (‘14): “The UK Has a Plan for a New ‘Pandemic Radar’ System,” Wired.
Federico Kukso (’16): “David Quammen: the man who heard the pandemic was coming,” Revista Lengua (in Spanish).
Richard Fisher (‘20): “How a ‘time of crisis’ creates a ‘crisis of time,'” The Long-termist’s Field Guide.
Valeria Román (‘06): “How a molecular biologist at the University of Buenos Aires went from having his students become fans of his classes to becoming an Internet sensation,” Infobae (in Spanish).
Anil Ananthaswamy (‘20): “Quantum Astronomy Could Create Telescopes Hundreds of Kilometers Wide,” Scientific American; “Latest Neural Nets Solve World’s Hardest Equations Faster Than Ever Before,” Quanta
Amina Khan (‘19): “Scientists see path for the coronavirus to invade the brain,” Los Angeles Times.
Richard Friebe (‘07): “Privilege for younger people? Who should be vaccinated next,” Der Tagesspiegel (in German).
Wycliffe Muga (‘08): “Building digital startup unicorns along with world leader Estonia,” The Star.
Teresa Firmino (‘09): “Does BCG protect you from diabetes? Portuguese scientist seeks the answer in Guinea-Bissau.” Público (in Portuguese).
Chris Mooney (‘11): “‘Uncertainty is not our friend’: Scientists are still struggling to understand the sea level risks posed by Antarctica,” The Washington Post.
Yves Sciama (‘14): “Record of CO2 in the air: looking back 15 million years,” Reporterre (in French).
Eva Wolfangel (‘20): “Hackers can attack health authorities through Luca (an app that delivers data to the health department),” Zeit Online (in German).
Aleszu Bajak (‘14): “Could we save lives by assigning each American a place in line for vaccines?” USA Today.
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