In case you were wondering, Webb of Science hasn’t disappeared, but I have been busy with a variety of other projects. The Science Writers’ Handbook website continued to publish regularly through December, and I had a baby boy in October.
In addition, I was part of a team of reporters (named Flux) who launched a crowdfunded reporting project (Bracing for Impact) looking at how communities are responding to and preparing for climate change. We started publishing stories in August, and we’ll be wrapping up our initial run this month. We used the brand new Beacon platform, specifically designed for journalists.
Our leader, Virginia Gewin, wrote a blog post describing “The Experiment” back in July. Crowdfunding is hard work. I have a whole new appreciation for the fund drives on public radio and television, and an awe and respect for artists, journalists, and others who are routinely supporting their work in this way.
At the same time it’s incredibly freeing to be able to create a new project and direct its path without having to make stories fit the exact specifications of an existing publication. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, and publishing with this great group of colleagues has sharpened my reporting and editing skills.
I wrote three stories for the project (Some stories may be behind Beacon’s paywall.):
- My first story took me to Clayton County, Georgia, near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where the local water authority is using urban wetlands to clean wastewater and avoid drinking water shortages.
- I then looked at novel strategies for combating Asian tiger mosquitoes, an invasive species that can carry the Chikungunya and dengue fever viruses.
- I interviewed Kristie Ebi of the University of Washington about climate change and human health. Though health has been a neglected issue, she sees signs of growing awareness.
Photo by Sarah Webb, reservoir in Clayton County, Georgia