Aleszu Bajak

science journalist • journalism instructor

Published works | Speaking engagements | Classes taught | Fellowships & Awards

Aleszu Bajak is a freelance science journalist who teaches journalism, design, data visualization and programming at Northeastern University. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, M.I.T. Technology Review and Nature.

Aleszu is the editor of Storybench.org, an under the hood guide to digital storytelling from Northeastern's School of Journalism, and LatinAmericanScience.org, a resource for science news and opinion out of Latin America. In 2016, he was a founding senior writer at Undark, a magazine exploring the intersection of science and society based at the Knight Science Journalism Program at M.I.T. The year before, he launched and edited Esquire Classic, the digital archive of Esquire magazine.

In 2013, Aleszu was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at M.I.T. where he explored the interface between journalists, designers and developers between visits to the Muddy Charles. Since then, he has taught courses and led workshops at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Brandeis University, Harvard Extension School, and Boston University's Storytelling with Data.

Aleszu has been a freelance reporter in Latin America, a producer for the public radio show Science Friday, and once upon a time worked in the gene therapy department at Weill Cornell. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, the Boston Globe magazine, MIT Technology Review, bioGraphic, Esquire, Nature, Science, New Scientist, Beeradvocate, and Guernica, among other outlets. He grew up in New Jersey, Germany and Colombia and has lived in Chile, Peru and Argentina. He can be reached at firstname lastname at gmail.com.



Undark

21st Century Policing

In Police Body Camera Footage, Tech Companies See a Niche

Breaking Down "Broken Windows"

The 2016 Presidential Election

Can Donald Trump Dismantle the EPA? It’s Been Tried Before

Mobilizing Green Latinos

Hillary Clinton and the Cultural Biases of Being ‘Presidential’

Micro-targeting and the 2016 Election

Growing West Virginia’s solar sector?

The Zika Epidemic

Changing Latin America's Culture of Insular Science

Playing Politics With Zika — and the Public’s Health

The Blind Pursuit of Mosquito Control

For the U.S., a More Worrisome Zika Vector?

For Venezuela's Zika Woes, Some Tylenol

While Congress Dithered, the Zika Virus Flourished in Puerto Rico

Maps and Podcasts

Map: Oil and Water: The Dakota Access Pipiline

Map: The Persistent Scourge of Lead Paint

Podcast: Rebuilding Louisiana’s disappearing delta. Plus, the accompanying article.

Browse all my stories for Undark here.

The Washington Post

Someone Is Tracking How Much You Vape on Twitter

Her Brain Tormented Her, and Doctors Could Not Understand Why

What Does Twitter Say About Your Diet?

Nature

Chile’s Scientists Take to the Streets

Argentina: The RNA Sleuths

U.S. Assesses Virus of the Caribbean

Key Galapagos Research Station in Trouble

Science

Microbe new to science found in self-fermented beer

Colombian coffee science

Lectures aren’t just boring, they’re ineffective, too

Abundant natural gas may do little to reduce U.S. emissions

Storybench

How Quartz is bringing storytelling and interactive design to sponsored content

Revolutionizing the work of newsrooms by making citizen videos searchable

How to learn responsive web design by coding your own news article

How to organize your data for various charts and graphs

Esquire

Boxing in Cuba (book review)

Phil Caputo: What I've Learned

Don Zimmer’s hard head

Frank Sinatra Turns 100

Map: Arthur Miller's New York Universe

Quiz: Which Tech Titan said it?

Dataviz: Happy Birthday, Martin Scorsese!

Science Friday

Video: Dean Kamen and the FIRST robotics competition

Video: Counting horseshoe crabs on Long Island

Video: Tending crops on a Brooklyn rooftop

New Scientist

Catcher in the fog

Global Post

Fossil fuels get a lot more global subsidies than public health does

Failures of Brazil's universal health care plan offer lessons for the US

Ensia magazine

The world is awash in pesticides. Does it have to be?

In Water We Trust

Beeradvocate magazine

Should You Be Worried About the BPA in Your Beer Can?

Sequencing Wild Yeast

Unlocking the Science of Hop Aromas

The Lager Yeast Genome Project

Brewing in Thin Air

SciDev.Net

Safeguarding biodiversity in tourism hotspots

Represas hidroeléctricas propician extinción de especies

Prevenir pandemias es más barato que combatirlas

Intervención de la comunidad ayuda a prevenir el Chagas

Guernica

Catching fog in Lima

Trunk magazine

Darwin, Neruda and Me

Latin American Science

The future of Latin American science

A year later, the effects of a volcanic eruption still plague Patagonia

A farm runs on homemade biodiesel in Argentina

Zócalo Public Square

How can we fight the rise of deadly superbugs?

Modern Farmer

Colombian coffee at the crossroads

The Specialty Coffee Chronicle

Can the world’s growing appetite for unique coffee save Brazil’s specialty coffee farms?

Christian Science Monitor

São Paulo razes crack cocaine shantytown


 
Speaking engagements, workshops
 
Urban Tensions hackathon, Northeastern University, 2017
Covering Housing workshop, Nieman Foundation, 2017
Communicating ciencia, National Association of Science Writers conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2016
So you want to be a data journalist?, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 2016
Intro to data visualization workshop, Nieman Foundation, 2016
Iberoamerican conference on science journalism, Digital frontiers keynote talk, Mexico, 2015
Power of Narrative conference panel on digital journlism and seminar on Latin American science, Boston University, 2015
Storytelling with Data workshop on data visualization tools, Boston University, 2015
World Conference of Science Journalists panel on Latin American science, Seoul, South Korea, 2015
Ciencia y periodismo (Science and Journalism), Nexos Chile-USA keynote talk, Harvard University D.R.C.L.A.S., 2015
Digital cartography workshop, Nieman Foundation, 2015

 

 
Classes taught
 
Fall 2017
Digital Storytelling and Social Media, Northeastern Journalism School
Fall 2016
Nieman Digital Storytelling, Nieman Foundation
Fall 2016
Fundamentals of Digital Journalism, Northeastern Journalism School
Spring 2016
Science and Journalism in Society, Brandeis University
Fall 2015
Media Innovation Studio, Northeastern Journalism School
Spring 2015
StoryLab: Reinventing Magazine Journalism, Northeastern Journalism School
Summer 2014
Foreign Correspondence in the Digital Age, Harvard Extension School
 

 
Fellowships & Awards
 
Knight Science Journalism Fellow, M.I.T., 2013—2014
Ocean Science Fellow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, September, 2014
Information is Beautiful Award, shortlist for best data visualization website, Storybench.org, 2015
Best magazine writing, North American Guild of Beer Writers
Sequencing Wild Yeast, 1st place, 2016
Unlocking the Science of Hop Aromas, 1st place, 2015
Stemming the Rise of Barley Disease, 3rd place, 2014
Brewing in Thin Air, 3rd place, 2013