Who I am: Malavika Vyawahare
Where I live: Madagascar
What I do: Vyawahare started her career at The New York Times bureau in India. She completed a masters in science, environment and health reporting at Columbia Journalism School in 2015 and has reported extensively on health issues in India and on climate change in the U.S.A. She is a Madagascar staff reporter. Formerly, she worked as science and environment reporter at Hindustan Times, India.
“I started out as a journalist in India and found that health reporting was mostly shorn of its scientific foundations. Graduate studies at Columbia University shaped me into a science and environmental journalist,” she says.
Why science journalism: “They say scientists have aha! moments. Journalists do too. For me, grasping some aspects of quantum physics and gene-editing was a joy. Then came the challenging part: translating that for readers,” she says.
Suggestions for newcomers:
- There are no stupid questions. At one time “Is the earth really the center of the universe?” was a stupid question.
- Science is about facts. But, it is also about how humans relate to those facts so focus on the researchers and those impacted by their work.
- At the heart of (almost) every science story is a mystery. Nobody is going to be interested in the solution if they don’t know what the mystery is and why it is important to solve it.