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 history of science 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 organized one workshop at the Institute during their stay.
Olivia Judson works at the intersection between science and journalism. A former staff writer for The Economist, she has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including National Geographic, The Guardian, and The New York Times (where, for two years, she wrote a weekly online column). Her academic background, however, is in evolutionary biology, and she is currently writing a history of life and Earth, aimed at a general audience. While at the MPIWG, she is planning to research the history of the ideas that she is developing, with a particular focus on work that was done by scientists educated in St Petersburg in the 1880s, such as Vladmir Vernadsky and Sergei Winogradsky.
Josephine Lethbridge is Interdisciplinary Editor at The Conversation UK, where she commissions articles by academics on their interdisciplinary research, helping them to tweak angles so that they are more topical and editing the text so that they better appeal to a public audience. Prior to her new role, which is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation, she spent over three years as The Conversation UK’s initial Arts + Culture Editor.
She also spent two years studying part-time towards an MSc in Science, Technology, and Society at University College London, where, amongst other things, she looked at the history of the idea of going to war on global warming and visions of geoengineering the climate. At the MPIWG, she gave a workshop on how to write for a general audience and commission and edit a series of articles from MPIWG academics.
Christian Schwägerl is a journalist and book author. He served as a culture and science staff correspondent for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2001–2008), and a political correspondent for DER SPIEGEL (2008–2012) before becoming a freelance writer. He has written several books, helped to establish the Anthropocene Project (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, HKW), and co-directed and co-curated the “Welcome to the Anthropocene” exhibition at the Deutsches Museum. Most recently, Schwägerl co-founded RiffReporter, a cooperative of Germany’s leading freelance journalists in the fields of science, society, environment, and technology. At the MPIWG he was based in Department I, working on a project using Darwin’s Reef Paradox as a model for media innovation.
During his time at the Institute he delivered a workshop on “Building a Media Coral Reef: Can Ecosystem Research Inspire Journalism in a Time of Media Crisis?”
Andreas Bernard was an editor for the culture section and magazine of the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and is now a freelance journalist, writing for papers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. In 2013, he was awarded the German Neurological Society’s journalism prize. Since 2014 he has held a professorship at the Center for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg, and he is currently working on a project entitled “Self-Design: Images of the Human Today.” He is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books.
During his time at the Institute he delivered a workshop on “Writing Journalism, Writing History of Science: Contradiction or Complement?”
Thomas De Padova is a freelance journalist who has written for Der Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and is the author of a number of books on the history of science. During his residency, he worked on his book Allein gegen die Schwerkraft: Einstein 1914–1918, published by Hanser in 2015.
During his time at the Institute he delivered a workshop on “How to Write A Press Release on Galileo’s 450th Birthday.”
Daniel A. Gross was a junior Journalist-in-Residence working on several topics grounded in the history of science. During his stay, he published articles on food technology, on the uses of the cyclotron and the Harvard collection of instruments, and on the technological history of travel. His journalistic writing has been published in Smithsonian, Chemical Heritage, and Slate.
Alexander Mäder is the science editor of the daily Stuttgarter Zeitung, having previously worked for Berliner Zeitung. He served as chair of the German Science Journalists’ Association from 2009 to 2011. At the MPIWG, he worked on a project concerning scientific policy advice, and established a Facebook blog on his experiences at the Institute.
During his time at the Institute he delivered a workshop on “What History of Science Can Contribute to the Media.”
Sarah Everts is the European correspondent for Chemical & Engineering News, based in Berlin, and a freelance science journalist for a variety of media outlets. She has written on many topics, including human pheromone debates, how to build a spacesuit appropriate for a Mars mission, and the role of chemists during the Third Reich. During her stay, she focused on a project about the history, culture, and science of sweat.
During her time at the Institute she delivered a workshop on “Adventures in Communication: When Academics Speak to Journalists.”
Klaus Taschwer is science editor of the Austrian daily Der Standard and editor of the science blog “Taschwer forscht nach.” He was the founder and editor of the popular scientific journal Heureka! (1997–2009) and co-director of the degree program “SciMedia” for science communication (2003–2006) in Vienna. He has published a study on anti-Semitism at Vienna University, and is working on a biography of the Viennese biologist Paul Kammerer (1880–1926).
During his time at the Institute he delivered a workshop on “Communicating History of Science in/to the Media.”