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Medill and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announce partnership

Journalism students will focus on covering nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies

February 26, 2020
Jess Stevens, an environmental science teacher at Gary Comer College Prep High School in Chicago, drills into a deposited boulder in the valley of the Potanin Glacier in Mongolia. The rock chipping she gathers could hold the clue as to how fast the climate is warming.
Jess Stevens, an environmental science teacher at Gary Comer College Prep High School in Chicago, drills into a deposited boulder in the valley of the Potanin Glacier in Mongolia. The rock chipping she gathers could hold the clue as to how fast the climate is warming.

Today, Medill and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announce a new collaboration. Through this initiative, the Bulletin is partnering with students in Medill’s graduate journalism Health, Environment and Science specialization and Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs specialization in Washington, D.C., to provide an outlet for aspiring journalists focused on the Bulletin’s coverage areas of nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies.

The newest story in this venture is from Medill alumna Stephanie Fox (MSJ19). With vivid prose and an adventurer’s heart, Fox chronicles her trip to the Mongolian mountains with two glacial geologists, a high school teacher, three undergraduate science majors and a collection of Mongolian guides to show how boulders there reveal the pace of the climate crisis. It’s a mesmerizing story about climate change, but it’s also, as Fox puts it, “[A] story about teamwork and hardship and the people who dedicate their lives to traveling around the world in the hope of fitting a small piece into a much larger scientific puzzle. This is a story about what it takes to research climate change.”

Medill Dean Charles Whitaker said, “These young professionals are gaining real-world experience and mentoring from an editorial team known for taking important, difficult topics and making them lucid and accessible. I am delighted that the best and brightest young minds in journalism today will have the opportunity to work with a publication as storied and venerable as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.”

John Mecklin, the Bulletin’s editor-in-chief, added, “Medill is one of the premier journalism schools in the world. Medill’s student journalists are top-flight—smart, dedicated and willing to learn. We are happy to help guide them and to feature their reporting and writing in a way that fosters their futures, and the future of American public-interest journalism.”

The first story in the partnership was published in the Bulletin in October 2019: “Puerto Rico’s clean-energy and grid-restoration efforts still in doubt.” In it, then Medill graduate student Jillian Melero (MSJ19) reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and discovers that the hurricane has acted as “a catalyst for change that is long overdue.”
Several more stories are in the pipeline for review with the Bulletin working with Medill Assistant Professor Abigail Foerstner in Chicago and Professor Ellen Shearer in Washington, D.C.

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