Award winners whose work is featured in Showcase
Eva Hershaw is a freelance journalist currently living in Italy. She holds two master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies and spent much of her career researching and reporting on agriculture, rural development and food systems in North, Central and South America. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Texas Monthly, VICE News and Al Jazeera America, among others. Her story “When the Dust Settles” (featured on Showcase) won the National Association of Science Writers’ Science in Society Award in 2017. She is currently a land monitoring and data specialist with the International Land Coalition.
Mike Hixenbaugh is an investigative reporter focused on exposing fraud and abuse in health care. Previously, he was a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where his work on the military and veterans affairs was co-published with ProPublica, NBC News and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. His story “Alive Inside” (featured on Showcase) won the AAAS Kavli award in 2018. Mike graduated from the University of Akron in 2007 before going to work for newspapers in Ohio and then North Carolina.
Courtney Humphries is a freelance journalist and author who writes about science, health, nature, and the built environment. She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT for 2015-2016, and her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Nautilus, MIT Technology Review, New Scientist, Nature, Science, Harvard Magazine, and other publications. She’s the author of Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan….And the World, a natural history of pigeons published by Smithsonian Books. Her story “Where Forests Work Harder” (featured on Showcase) recently won the David Perlman Award granted by the American Geophysical Union. She’s an alum of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing and has recently returned to school as a PhD student in environmental science and Coasts & Communities IGERT fellow at University of Massachusetts Boston, studying urban sustainability and climate change adaptation. Follow her on Twitter @cehumphries.
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.
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.
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 last of 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 “Devastated” (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 on 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 China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet. The second project was funded in part by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Lustgarten earned a master’s in journalism from Columbia University in 2003 and holds 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. Maxmen holds 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, MIT echnology 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.