India | Science journalist
Food Security Media Fellow | Host: Scientific American, the Pulitzer Center, and Undark
A freelance science journalist in New Delhi, Ankur Paliwal, will be the inaugural Food Security Fellow, an enterprise that includes rigorous academic elements, field trips and advanced reporting projects.
Ankur has written investigative articles on science, health and environmental issues throughout the country, including the death of children to mysterious fever and the government’s mishandling of critically polluted areas. He also won the Next Generation of Science Journalists Award in 2017 at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Paliwal will be pioneering a new specialization in our fellowship focusing on food security issues.
“I believe science can greatly enrich stories from various beats — be it health, environment, education, politics or crime,” Paliwal wrote in his application. “I am determined to shape the discourse of science journalism in India by making science personal to people.”
Paliwal’s work has already made an impact in India. His investigation into unethical drug trials conducted by multinational pharmaceutical companies led to a public interest petition in the Indian Supreme Court and increased regulation of drug trials in the country. His exposé about false commissioning of solar power projects in western India led to the government plugging a policy loophole, which developers had been exploiting to their benefit. Still, Paliwal believes his journalism can do more.
“I know I have the potential to write compelling stories,” he wrote. “I just need to work with good journalists and editors to learn from them the process of how powerful stories are reported and written. I aim to absorb as much as I can during the fellowship and come back to India to share those skills with journalists here.”
Paliwal will spend eight weeks learning and training at the University of Missouri and the Missouri School of Journalism and another two weeks at a prestigious plant science center. He will work at Scientific American magazine and with both the Pulitzer Center and Undark, a digital science news magazine.