Meet the Newest TON/BWF Early-Career Fellows, Shira Feder and Katherine Wu

Shira Feder and Katherine J. Wu
Shira Feder and Katherine J. Wu Courtesy of Shira Feder/Katherine J. Wu


The Open Notebook is excited to introduce the latest recipients of our fellowship for early-career science journalists, made possible by a generous grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. (Read stories by previous fellows here.)

We received a record number of excellent applications for this year’s two fellowships, and we’re delighted to offer the fellowship to Shira Feder and Katherine Wu. The science writing community will get to know Shira and Katherine in the coming months, but for now, here’s a little bit about each of them:

Shira Feder is a freelance New York-based writer who covers science, culture, and everything in between. She has written for Vox, The Daily Beast, HuffPost, Business Insider, and others. Follow her on Twitter @shirafeder. She’ll begin her fellowship in January.

Katherine J. Wu is a Boston-based science journalist and storyteller. She is currently a contributing writer for Smithsonian, a senior producer for The Story Collider, and a production editor at Undark. In 2018, she earned a PhD in microbiology and immunobiology from Harvard University, where she studied how bacteria deal with stress. Follow her on Twitter @KatherineJWu. She’ll begin her fellowship in July.

Two top-notch journalists have enthusiastically agreed to serve as Shira and Katherine’s mentors and editors:


Cynthia Graber Courtesy of Cynthia Graber

Cynthia Graber, who will be Shira’s mentor, is an audio and print reporter and is co-host of the internationally popular podcast Gastropod, about the science and history of food. Her audio and print stories have won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the Institute of Physics. Cynthia’s print work has been featured in Wired, Orion, The New Yorker, Fast Company, and many other publications. She spent 2012-2013 as a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT, and followed that with a University of California, Berkeley, Food and Farming fellowship, overseen by Michael Pollan. She also regularly teaches audio production and podcasting. Follow her on Twitter @cagraber.




Torie Bosch
Torie Bosch Courtesy of Torie Bosch

Torie Bosch, who will be Katherine’s mentor, is the editor of Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, Arizona State University, and New America that looks at emerging technologies and their implications for public policy and society. She is also an editor in residence at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she teaches opinion writing. She was a co-editor of the 2017 What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent the Future as well as a co-editor of Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow. Prior to becoming the editor of Future Tense, she edited Slate’s religion and medical departments and served as the site’s first social media editor. Follow her on Twitter @thekibosch.


We’re thrilled to welcome these talented people to the TON/BWF community!

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