Award winners whose work is featured in Showcase
Investigative Technology Reporter
Mark Harris is an investigative technology reporter based in Seattle, writing for The Guardian, IEEE Spectrum, Backchannel, MIT Technology Review, The Economist and New Scientist. He has broken stories about self-driving vehicles, giant airships, AI body scanners, faulty defibrillators, and monkey-powered robots. Recently, one of his public records requests for Backchannel triggered Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber. In 2014, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and in 2015 he won the AAS Kavli Science Journalism Gold Award for his story How A Lone Hacker Shredded the Myth of Crowdsourcing (featured on Showcase). He is currently a MuckRock Fellow, and is always interested in tips. You can find him on Twitter @meharris.
Health and Science Writer
Mark Johnson, a health and science writer at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, shared the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and has been a finalist on three other occasions. He and Business Reporter Kathleen Gallagher are co-authors of the new book, “One in a Billion: The story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine,” an expansion of their Pulitzer Prize-winning series. His Journal Sentinel story “The Course of Their Lives” (featured on Showcase) won CASW’s Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting in 2015 for the newspaper category.
George Johnson is the author of nine books, most recently The Cancer Chronicles. A former reporter and editor at The New York Times, he has written for National Geographic, Slate, Scientific American, Wired, The Atlantic, and other publications, and writes the monthly column Raw Data for The Times. He is co-founder of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. His New York Times Sunday Review story “Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer” (featured on Showcase) was part of a package that won the 2014 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award in the Large Newspaper category. Follow Johnson on Twitter @byGeorgeJohnson.
Matthew D. LaPlante
Journalist • Assistant Professor
Matthew D. LaPlante has reported from more than a dozen nations for publications including CNN.com, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Daily News and The Salt Lake Tribune, the latter at which he served as national security reporter from 2005 to 2011. A dedicated soccer fan and avid snowboarder, LaPlante is an assistant professor of journalism at Utah State University, where he teaches news writing, narrative non-fiction and crisis reporting. His Salt Lake City Weekly story “Devatated” (featured on Showcase) won the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award in 2014 for the small newspaper category.
Abrahm Lustgarten is a senior environmental reporter, with a focus at the intersection of business, climate and energy. His 2015 series examining the causes of water scarcity in the American west, Killing the Colorado, was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and received the 2016 Keck Futures Initiative Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (One story, “End of the Miracle Machines,” in the series is highlighted at Showcase.) Before joining ProPublica in 2008, Lustgarten was a staff writer at Fortune. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Wired, Salon, and Esquire, among other publications. He is the author of two books; Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, and also China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet, a project that was funded in part by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Lustgarten earned a Master’s in journalism from Columbia University in 2003 and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Cornell.
Amy Maxmen is an award-winning science journalist who covers the entanglements of evolution, medicine, policy and of people behind research. Her stories appear in a variety of outlets, including Wired, National Geographic, Nature, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Her National Geographic story “How the Fight Against Ebola Tested a Culture’s Traditions” (featured on Showcase) won NASW’s Science in Society Award in 2016. She’s currently a full-time reporter at Nature, and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in evolutionary biology.
Phil McKenna is staff writer for InsideClimate News where he covers energy and the environment with a focus on the individuals behind the news. He has previously written for the New York Times, Smithsonian, WIRED, Audubon, New Scientist, Technology Review, MATTER, NOVA Next and others. “Uprising” (featured on Showcase) won the 2013 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award and the 2014 NASW Science in Society Award. He has a master’s degree in science writing from MIT and was an environmental journalism fellow at Middlebury College.
Journalist and Storytelling Coach
Matthew Miller is the storytelling coach at the Lansing State Journal. He writes about science and religion, but seldom about their intersection. His Lansing State Journal story “Battle of the Ash Borer” (featured on Showcase) won the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award in 2015 for the small newspaper category.
Writer and Editor
Charles Piller, STAT’s West Coast editor, writes watchdog reports and in-depth projects from his base in the San Francisco Bay Area. He previously worked as an investigative journalist for The Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times, and has reported on public health, science, and technology from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central America. Charles has won numerous journalism awards (his story “Failure to Report” is featured on Showcase), has authored two investigative books about science, and also has reported extensively on national security, prison conditions, and bridge engineering. Follow him on Twitter @cpiller.