Science journalists from Japan and Korea have joined colleagues from Canada and across the United States in the group of Knight Science Journalism Fellows who began a nine-month stay at MIT September 1. They are Sumiko Oshima of the Kyodo News Agency, Akitaka Hirata of Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo and Chang-yop Kim of the Joongang Daily News in Seoul.
Mr. Kim is the first science journalist from Korea to join the visiting journalists' program, which brought its first Fellows to MIT in 1983-84. Besides Korea and Japan, the program has included non-US science journalists from China, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland.
Ms. Oshima has covered efforts to preserve endangered species and other environmental issues in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, and the "science city," a large collection of national and industrial laboratories that has been established at Tsukuba. Mr. Hirata's 35 years of work with Yomiuri, from which two previous Fellows have come, have included stints in the US to cover the Apollo lunar landing program and expansion of the biotechnology industry. He notes that the science section of Yomiuri, which circulates throughout Japan, started small but has expanded to more than 20 reporters.
Topics the visiting journalists intend to study include: applications of physics and biology, environmental consequences of electric utility competition, social implications of breakthroughs in molecular biology, applications of genetics in medicine, statistics, global change in the environment, land use and the environment, science policy and atmospheric sciences.
The Fellows are scheduled to be introduced to MIT President Charles M. Vest and others of the MIT community at a reception on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4pm in the Bush Rooom, sponsored by Technology Review and the MIT News Office.
In the first of approximately 60 twice-weekly group seminars, the Fellows have met researchers from Lincoln Laboratory, the Whitehead Institute and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. In mid-October, the Fellows' host at lunch at The Boston Globe will be health and science editor Nils Bruzelius, a 1992-93 Knight Fellow. Late in October, the Fellows plan to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which is being held at MIT this year and will be opened by Dr. Vest. Program chairman for the SEJ meeting is David Ropeik of WCVB-TV, Channel 5, Boston, who was a 1994-95 Knight Fellow.
Previously appointed Fellows for 1995-96 are: John D. Cox of The Sacramento Bee; John A. Dillon of The Times-Argus of Barre-Montpelier and the Rutland Herald in VT; Rex A. Graham of the Albuquerque Journal; Megan Jaegerman of The New York Times; Jenni Laidman of the Bay City (MI) Times; and Edward Struzik of the Edmonton (Alta.) Journal and Equinox, a Canadian magazine.
The Knight Science Journalism Fellowships are part of the Program in Science, Technology and Society in the School of Humanities and Social Science. The 1995-96 Fellows bring the total selected for the program to 137, including 62 women and 75 men, of whom 39 came from outside the US. American science journalists have come from 24 states and the District of Columbia.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 20, 1995.