This summer, 22 graduate science writing students at Johns Hopkins immersed themselves in reporting on health disparities. They read deeply and met with STAT reporter Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times Magazine writer Linda Villarosa, Dopesick author Beth Macy, NPR correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee, and other journalists as well as public health experts like Keshia Pollack Porter at Johns Hopkins and Kirstin Dial from the Coalfield Health Center in Chapmanville, West Virginia.
Then, they reported on health disparities in their communities and beyond, including:
- High rates of colorectal cancer among Alaska Native peoples
- Turning to doulas to help reduce Black maternal mortality in Virginia.
- The danger wildfires pose to people who are homeless in the Bay Area.
- The suicide crisis among Ireland’s Traveller community.
- And many others.
Their news articles, features, and opinion pieces uncovered the roots of health disparities—and possible solutions. The students wrote, edited, designed, and published the stories in the first issue of TheScienceWriter.org.
I had the honor of teaching this “Public Health in Action” course with Melissa Hendricks Joyce, associate director of the science writing program.
And we now have the honor of sharing these important stories and perspectives with you.—Brian