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Nine writers selected as Knight Fellows

Nine journalists who cover science, medicine and the environment have been named Knight Science Journalism Fellows for the 1999-2000 academic year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most come from newspapers but others write for popular science magazines and the web or produce television documentaries.

The journalists, who represent India, Korea and Switzerland in addition to the United States, will constitute the 17th annual group of working journalists to devote a full academic year to study at MIT.

Those selected are:

David Chandler, 51, science writer, the Boston Globe. Mr. Chandler, who covers a wide range of sciences for the Globe, has been a science writer for more than 20 years and is a winner of the Media Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

W. Wayt Gibbs, 30, senior writer, Scientific American. Mr. Gibbs, based in San Francisco, has written hundreds of articles and edited several special sections of the magazine on a wide variety of subjects.

Karen Hopkin, 35, freelance science writer. Ms. Hopkin, who earned a doctorate in biochemistry, writes for several national magazines and web sites. She has won awards both in science and journalism.

Ganapati S. Mudur, 36, science writer, the Telegraph, Calcutta. Based in New Delhi, Mr. Mudur covers medicine and science for the Calcutta daily. Not averse to investigative journalism, he once exposed a government agency that had given a grant to a "priest-magician" to invoke rain through prayer.

Melissa Schorr, 26, staff writer, the Las Vegas Sun. Ms. Schorr, who covers health and medicine, won the Nevada Press Association's first place feature story award last year. She also freelances for several women's magazines.

Andreas Schriber, 42, producer and editor, Swiss Television DRS, Zurich. Mr. Schriber produces, writes and edits documentaries on science and environmental research, especially in developing countries.

Shin DongHo, 38, chief science reporter for the Hankyoreh, a 500,000-circulation daily in Seoul. Mr. Shin, who joined the previous class of Knight Fellows in January, will continue with the new group. He has received several awards, including one from the president of Korea for excellence in science writing.

Peter Spotts, 48, science and technology correspondent, Christian Science Monitor, Boston. Mr. Spotts was the Monitor's national news editor and chief editorial writer before returning in 1994 to his original beat on science.

David Talbot, 34, reporter, the Boston Herald. Over the last 10 years, Mr. Talbot has won seven major journalism awards, many of them for investigative pieces on environmental hazards.

The selection committee comprised Leigh Fenly, science editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune; Peggy Girshman, producer at NBC Dateline; Nancy Hopkins, MIT professor of biology; Boyce Rensberger, director of the Knight Fellowship program; and Tom Siegfried, science editor of the Dallas Morning News.

The fellowship program is funded by an endowment created principally by the Knight Foundation and MIT.

A version of this article appeared in the May 5, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 29).

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