Journalists in Residence

Head of Cooperation & Communication

Hansjakob Ziemer

+49 30 22667 242

In 2013, the Institute set up a new Journalists-in-Residence program. This program supports journalism on the history of science, aiming to foster the communication of central themes in the history of science to the broader public and to enhance the role of the discipline within the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Seeking to make its research more visible, the Institute has invited journalists to take advantage of research resources for their own projects. To support dialogue between journalists and researchers, the journalists each organize one workshop at the Institute during their stay.


Journalists-in-Residence 2018–19

Siobhan Roberts

Siobhan Roberts joins Department II from October 8 to December 15, 2018. She is a contributor at The New Yorker’s science and tech blog “Elements,” and Quanta. Over the years she’s written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Smithsonian, The Walrus, and The Globe and Mail, among other publications. She is the author, most recently, of Genius at Play, The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, which was a sequel of sorts to her first book, King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry. At the MPIWG she will be researching her latest project, a biography of the Swiss-American mathematical logician Verena Huber-Dyson—exploring narrative themes such as gender and sexual politics, and notions of evidence, proof, and objectivity. As Verena remarked, “There is more to truth than can be caught by proof.”

Anja Krieger

Anja Krieger joins Department I from February 1 to March 31, 2019. She is the producer of Plastisphere, a podcast on plastic, people, and the planet. As an independent journalist, Anja has contributed to the German national public Deutschlandradios, and in English to the Undark podcast, Ensia magazine, and several Nature supplements. She is a member of RiffReporter, a new journalism collaborative and ecosystem for in-depth freelance journalism in Germany. In 2015 and 2016, Anja was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she delved into environmental sciences and science writing. During her time at the MPIWG, Anja will explore the history of science of the plastic pollution issue in the 20th and 21st century.

Laura Spinney

Laura Spinney joins Department III from April 1 to May 31, 2019. She has published several books including two novels, The Doctor and The Quick, a volume of oral history called Rue Centrale—in French and English—and, in 2017, a non-fiction work entitled Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, which was translated into eight languages. She writes on science for National Geographic, The Economist, Nature, and The Guardian among others. Her current interests lie in the millennia-long search for patterns in history, and the mathematical historians who are now describing those patterns—using the maths of complexity—and using them to predict the future.