Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

Taylor/Blakeslee Fellow awarded 2021 mentored project fellowship

CASW is pleased to announce the award of a Taylor/Blakeslee Mentored Science Journalism Project Fellowship to Brett Simpson (@brettvsimpson). The fellowship, which is awarded competitively to a current or recent Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellow, offers a small grant for an independent reporting project and comes with the support of a senior journalist as mentor.

The program is designed to help early-career science journalists gain important experience by organizing and executing freelance projects at a time when publishers are rarely able to cover the full cost of field reporting of science stories. The mentoring component is intended to help ensure the success of the project and also to build a cross-generational network within the community of Taylor/Blakeslee Fellows.

Simpson, who completed her masters at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in May, plans an environmental reporting project that explores the intersection of renewable energy and indigenous communities.

Dan Vergano (@dvergano), senior science journalist at BuzzFeed News, will mentor Simpson. Vergano was formerly a senior writer-editor at National Geographic, a longtime senior science reporter for USA Today, and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He is also a member of the CASW board.

The project grants are funded by the Chicago-based Brinson Foundation, which provides underwriting for the Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowships.