Welcome to the Plastisphere

I’ve started a new project, the Plastisphere podcast!

In the first episode, I take listeners on a journey back in time, from a remote plastic beach on the Big Island of Hawaii to the factory of a big chemical producer making bioplastics – to share what I’ve learned about the issue of plastic pollution in the past years.

The second episode is about a frontier in plastic pollution research: Nanoplastic is so small, it’s the size of a virus and hard to detect at all. But it has already been found in the open ocean. How could it affect us and the ecosystems we depend upon?

In episode 3, I am exploring the human dimension of our growing mountain of trash. In many developing countries, informal recyclers and waste pickers help take care of the waste and depend on it for their livelihoods. But they cannot keep up with the increase in waste. How can we tackle plastic pollution in a way that considers their well-being?

You can find more info and the podcasts and transcripts on the project website, Twitter @PlastispherePod, Soundcloud, Facebook, and in German on RiffReporter. Also, just getting started on Instagram.

This is an independent project, and I yet need to find ways to permanently fund the costs and work that go into it. You can support me via Patreon and RiffReporter.

In Schleswig for Undark

Schleswig is a small town in the North of Germany. This spring, a major plastic leak there sparked a debate in Germany: Can a circular economy include shredding food waste and packaging together? For Undark, I went to Schleswig to find out what had happened:

For the sake of science, it’s time to break ranks

Researchers call for a change in evaluation to recognise the importance of reproducibility.

Bibliometric indicators that reward scientists for publishing frequently in high-ranked journals — but not for making their methods accessible — are a major cause of the reproducibility crisis, researchers agreed at the latest EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF).

Read my article on the Nature Index blog.

Fact-checking discussion at ESOF2018

At the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Toulouse, I participated in a panel discussion with editors and fact-checkers from Undark and Der Spiegel. Thanks to the journalists, scientists and science communicators who attended and contributed to our discussion.

Here are some tweeted bits:

For more, click „Fact-checking discussion at ESOF2018“ weiterlesen

Knight Science Journalism Fellowship

Together with nine Fellows from Argentina, Canada and the U.S., I spent nine months as a 2015-16 Knight Science Journalism Fellow in Cambridge on the U.S. East Coast.

Above our graduation day, with (left to right): KSJ Founding Director Victor McElheny, Ashley Smart, Courtney Humphries, Christopher Ketcham, Zack Colman, Sasha Chapman, Federico Kukso, Rod McCullom, Alicia Chang, KSJ Director Deborah Blum, KSJ Associate Editor Jane Roberts, and me. Betsy Mason took the picture.

One of the highlights: Chatting with Noam Chomsky about science, politics, climate change and journalism. Any tips for journalists, one of us asked. „Just tell the truth,“ Chomsky replied.