Award winners whose work is featured in Showcase
Author and Contributing Writer
Maria Konnikova is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Confidence Game, winner of the 2016 Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking; and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, an Anthony and Agatha Award finalist. She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker and is currently working on a book about poker and the balance of skill and luck in life, The Biggest Bluff, to be published in 2019 by Penguin Press. Having amassed over $230,000 in poker tournament earnings within one year and captured a major poker title during research for her upcoming book, in July 2018, Maria joined PokerStars Team Pro as an official ambassador. Her story “Altered Tastes” featured on Showcase was also featured in Best American Science and Nature Writing. Maria also hosts the podcast The Grift with Panoply Media, a show that explores con artists and the lives they ruin, and is currently a visiting fellow at NYU’s School of Journalism. She graduated from Harvard University and received her PhD in psychology from Columbia University. Follow her on Twitter @mkonnikova.
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.
Dennis Overbye has been at the New York Times for almost 20 years, first as the deputy science editor and then as a reporter with a beat ranging from zero-gravity fashion shows to the fate of the universe and the various dark things that make most of nature. Pluto is still a planet in his household. Chasing the Higgs (featured on Showcase) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 and the winner of the National Academies Keck Future Initiative Communication award. He’s the author of two books, Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, the Scientific Search for the Secret of the Universe, which won the American Institute of Physics science-writing prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for non fiction, and Einstein in Love, a Scientific Romance.
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.
Jane Qiu is a globetrotting science writer in Beijing, regularly contributing to publications such as Nature, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. A recipient of many prestigious fellowships and travel grants, she has covered wide-ranging geoscience and environmental topics from the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the peaks of the Himalayas. Qiu is passionate about the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountain ranges—a vast area half the US landmass known as the Third Pole because it boasts the largest stock of ice on Earth outside polar regions—and strives to highlight its increasing fragility and pressing environmental issues. Her three Nature stories, including “The Forgotten Continent” (featured on Showcase), won the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award in 2016 for the magazine category. Her reports about the Third Pole were also recognised by the Asian Environmental Journalism Award for the category of Environmental Journalist of the Year.
Hillary Rosner is a freelance journalist and editor specializing in feature stories about science and the environment. She writes for National Geographic, Wired, Scientific American, The New York Times, High Country News, and many other publications, and she is a contributing editor at bioGraphic. Her work has twice been awarded the AAAS-Kavli Science Journalism prize (including “Attack of the Mutant Pupfish,” which is featured on Showcase), and has also garnered awards from the Society for Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. She lives in Colorado.