The Knight Science Journalism Fellowship admitted its 20th annual class earlier this month - a group of 10 science and technology journalists that ties the record for the program's most internationally diverse group.
This year's class is also the first in which journalists from other countries outnumber Americans. The group comprises two Brazilians, a Kenyan, a Malaysian, a Briton, a Canadian and four Americans.
All will be on campus through the academic year, taking courses, working in labs and attending special Knight seminars. After May, they'll return to writing articles and producing television programs, better prepared to communicate about science and technology to the public at large.
Anyone interested in meeting the new Knights is invited to a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 25 hosted by Technology Review and the MIT News Office. It will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in the West Lounge of the Stratton Student Center.
The new fellows are:
Pamela Asigi Andiba, senior reporter for Nation Broadcasting, a Kenyan television network. Asigi covers science, medicine and the environment. Much of her work has focused on the AIDS epidemic in Kenya. During her fellowship year, she is looking into biotechnology, environmental and health sciences, and AIDS vaccine research.
Ruth Helena Bellinghini, science reporter and assistant editor for O Estado de S. Paulo, Brazil's second-largest daily newspaper. Bellinghini's coverage concentrates on the life sciences and the impacts of genetics and genomics on the Brazilian people. At MIT she is studying cancer genetics, proteomics and epigenetics.
Chen May Yee, most recently a reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal. Based in Singapore, Chen covered information technology in the region but is using her fellowship to ground herself in health and environmental issues that affect southeast Asia.
Alessandro Greco, freelance science writer for various Brazilian magazines and web sites. Greco also authored a book of interviews he conducted with 26 leading scientists from around the world, introducing many of the scientists to Brazilian readers. At MIT he is focusing on brain and cognitive sciences.
Trisha Gura, freelance writer for magazines including Science, Nature and Good Housekeeping. With a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Northwestern University, Gura previously was a reporter for The Chicago Tribune. While on campus, Gura is studying bioinformatics, neurobiology, computer science and systems analysis.
Annalee Newitz, culture editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and author of "Techsploitation," a syndicated column. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American studies from the University of California at Berkeley and has written or edited three books and freelanced for such outlets as Salon.com, Wired and the Industry Standard. Here she is interested in the social impact of computer networks, biotechnology and bioinformatics.
David Paterson, producer of television science documentaries. For some 25 years Paterson produced documentaries for the BBC, including 12 years as executive producer of the network's Science and Features Department. Among his projects was Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" series. He has also written four popular science books. During his fellowship, Paterson is studying cell biology, astronomy, Earth science and jurisprudence.
Adam Rogers, general editor for Newsweek. At the magazine, Rogers, who has a master's degree in science journalism from Boston University, has written on a variety of topics including neurobiology, Bose-Einstein condensates, genomics, energy policy and biological warfare. During his MIT year, he is exploring the effects of the built environment on human physical and mental health.
Lauren Slater, author of books on psychology. Slater is best known for her memoirs "Prozac Diary" and "Lying." Some of her essays appear in Best American Science Writing 2002 and Best American Magazine Writing 2002. Before becoming a writer, she earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University and treated patients for 11 years. During her fellowship, she is studying neuropsychology, the future of psychiatric care and medical ethics.
Clive Thompson, a Brooklyn-based writer from Canada who covers digital technologies and their social impact. Thompson is widely published in various Canadian magazines and such U.S. publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Lingua Franca and Wired. At MIT he is studying artificial intelligence and the changing nature of property in the digital age.
The 2002-03 Knight Fellows were chosen by a committee comprising two former Knight Fellows, Glennda Chui of the San Jose Mercury-News and Peter Spotts of The Christian Science Monitor, as well as Hugh Gusterson, MIT professor of anthropology and science studies, and Boyce Rensberger, director of the fellowships.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 25, 2002.