Nav: Home

IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows conclude internships after producing sci-tech reports

August 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (19 August 2009) -- Covering sci-tech subjects, from clean coal and a new type of American car to disputed Web information and a Wii for seniors, IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows David Lukofsky and Nicholas Diakopoulos completed their 10-week summer media internships this week.

Lukofsky reported on sci-tech at WOSU-FM, a public radio station in Columbus, Ohio; and Diakopoulos, at the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. Lukofsky received his Ph.D. in engineering physics from Dartmouth College in June; and Diakopoulos, his Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech.

At the midpoint of his reporting assignment this summer at WOSU-FM, Lukofsky wrote: "I mostly learn by following my coworkers' example. My most surprising observation was how quickly the reporters go from deciding on a story idea, to making phone calls, to bolting out the door for interviews. Grad school taught me to be prudent in my approach. This newsroom teaches me to be efficient." He added: "Most of my interviewees are scientists. I feel at ease with them, and enjoy the opportunity to talk to them about their new idea, process or discovery.... Being a scientist myself helps me enter their world. I think what allows this to occur is our shared experience of the 'scientific failure.' The past years spent in a lab have taught me that success in science hinges on a healthy approach to failure."

Also at the halfway point of his reporting stint at The Bee, Diakopoulos wrote: "Programming skills are indeed in heavy demand in the newsroom. There are tons of opportunities for adding interactive content to the Web site to either go with a print story or sometimes even stand on its own.... The editors generally seem quite excited by the new storytelling opportunities afforded by computational and interactive media ... [and] I've been working with the online Web site team to help out with their redesign, since my degree is in human computer interaction." He added: "Of course, I've also had some great opportunities to do straight-up reporting and writing stories."

Bee Assistant Managing Editor Scott Lebar praised Diakopoulos as "a splendid addition to our staff for the summer," adding that "he stimulated conversation and ideas...a dedicated journalist who wanted to know what the future held."

Lukofsky described the WOSU-FM internship as "the perfect springboard to the media and policy experience [that] I need for my dream job -- to act as the messenger who informs members of government on sci-tech issues." Diakopoulos cited garnering "valuable knowledge of journalism that will help me innovate better technologies for journalists of the future."

To see the reports prepared by the IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows:

--For David Lukofsky at WOSU-FM, go to:

"Can one exist without the other: light bulbs and mercury?," at

"Is clean coal the solution?," at

"A new type of American car," at

"Scientists test strength of spider silk," at

--For Nicholas Diakopoulos at Sacramento Bee, go to:

"Intel project seeks to mark disputed Web information," at

"For seniors, a Wii may be a win-win: fun and brain-nourishing," at

"Univ. of Calif. Davis camp offers summer tech fun," at

"Crowd sourcing site lets Web users make a few bucks," at
Since 2000, 13 U.S. IEEE undergraduate and graduate students have served as IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows, helping journalists in print and broadcast fields communicate authoritatively to the public about science, engineering and technology. IEEE-USA is the only engineering organization in the Mass Media Fellows program, which is administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). IEEE-USA is also one of a smaller group of sponsoring societies that supports more than one Fellow. From 2006-08, AAAS Science & Engineering Mass Media Fellows produced more than 600 first-run news stories on science and technology. Entering its 35th year in 2009, more than 550 Fellows have participated.

As a result of IEEE-USA's participation in the program, volunteers and staff have established contact with key journalists to promote IEEE-USA activities. IEEE-USA Communications Committee Chair Abby Vogel and former Chair Allan Schell helped to select the organization's 2009 Fellows. In 2005, Vogel was an IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellow at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

For more information on IEEE-USA involvement, see

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 210,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 375,000 members in 160 countries. See


Related Bee Articles:

How does an intersex bee behave?
A group of scientists and students working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Barro Colorado Island studied the circadian rhythm of a bee gynandromorph: a rare condition that results in the expression of both male and female characteristics.
To bee, or not to bee, a question for almond growers
The study co-authored by CTAHR's Ethel Villalobos suggests that 'Independence' almonds, like many plants that are self-compatible, still performed better when bees were assisting in pollination.
Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries
Bees are pollinators of many plants, but their diversity and density is declining.
Study sheds light on 'overlooked' bee species
The UK's first citizen science project focusing on solitary, ground-nesting bees has revealed that they nest in a far broader range of habitats than previously thought.
Yeasts in nectar can stimulate the growth of bee colonies
Researchers from KU Leuven have found that the presence of yeasts can alter the chemical composition and thus the nutritional value of nectar for pollinators such as bees.
Strategies of a honey bee virus
Heidelberg, 23 October 2019 - The Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is a pathogen that affects honey bees and has been linked to Colony Collapse Disorder, a key factor in decimating the bee population.
Bumble bee workers sleep less while caring for young
All animals, including insects, need their sleep. Or do they?
Bee biodiversity barometer on Fiji
The biodiversity buzz is alive and well in Fiji, but climate change, noxious weeds and multiple human activities are making possible extinction a counter buzzword.
Honey bee colonies down by 16%
The number of honey bee colonies fell by 16% in the winter of 2017-18, according to an international study led by the University of Strathclyde.
How the bumble bee got its stripes
Researchers have discovered a gene that drives color differences within a species of bumble bees, helping to explain the highly diverse color patterns among bumble bees.
More Bee News and Bee Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at