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The 2016 Nature Travel Grantees’ stories about ESOF

Thanks to the continuous support from Springer Nature, 15 journalists have received a travel grant to attend ESOF 2016.

Springer Nature is a leading global research, educational and professional publisher, home to an array of respected and trusted brands providing quality content through a range of innovative products and services, including the journal Nature. Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media. Nature Publishing Group has supported ESOF since its very first meeting in 2004.

Meet the Nature Travel Grantees


aspasia2 Aspasia Daskalopoulou is a science and medical journalist at the Greek daily newspaper “Kathimerini” and editor-in-chief of Athens Science Festival, the largest science fair in Greece. She studied environmental science at the University of the Aegean in Greece and completed her master’s degree in Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University’s College of Communications in the USA. She took documentary courses at Harvard University and worked in science documentary production for the National Geographic Channel and NOVA series of PBS television. After her return to Greece, she worked at the television documentary series “Protagonistes” and as an in-house science journalist at the National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”.

Read her article on ESOF here, here and here.

SAMSUNG Veena Patwardhan is an experienced Mumbai-based freelance writer, copywriter, copy editor, and science journalist with a diversified portfolio and strong editing abilities honed over 22+ years. Around two decades ago she fled a full-time job as an analytical chemist to pursue writing full-time from home. She has a passion for writing well-researched and engaging articles related to science and technology, responsible travel, health, and the environment. However, she would be happy to write on topics ranging from molecules to moose or anything editors suggest.

Read her article on ESOF here.


Natalyia Demina has been working as a scientific journalist for 10 years. Popularization of science is one of her main tasks a Reporter for “” Science Department. She is also a co-founder and an Issue editor of the scientific biweekly newspaper “Troitsky variant – Science”. It was created in 2008 by scientists and science journalists and is a well-known, independent, non-governmental edition. In comparison to many Russian media, it can publish any critical (and well considered) comments about science and education policy. Natalyia took part in ESOF in 2014 and the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul in 2015. She is a member of the informal Russian Club of Scientific Journalists and of the Russian Society of Scientific Workers.

Read her articles about ESOF here, here, here, here and here.

Zielinski_headshot2 Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor based in Washington, D.C. Her blog, Wild Things, appears at Science News. She is an editor and contributor to Science News for Students. And her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, Scientific American, Science and National Geographic News.

Read her articles here and here.

thumb_P1010113_1024 Eric Niiler (@eniiler) is a correspondent for Discovery News and a contributing writer at Wired. He has worked as an assignment editor, radio producer and newspaperman. He has reported from Antarctica, Capitol Hill, Mexico, Estonia and Fallujah, Iraq, for various news outlets including The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Discover, Chemical & Engineering News, Nature Biotechnology and Scientific American. He lives near Washington, DC, and is a certified Alpine ski instructor. While in the UK, he hopes to re-visit the village of Toft, Cambridgeshire, where he lived when he was eight.

Read his articles on ESOF 2016 here and here.

sarah_wild002 Sarah Wild is a multi-award-winning science journalist. She studied physics, electronics and English literature in an effort to make herself unemployable. It didn’t work and she now writes about particle physics, cosmology and everything in between. In 2012, she published her first full-length book Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s Quest to Hear the Songs of the Stars, and in 2013 was named best science journalist in Africa by Siemens in their Pan-African Profiles Awards. In 2015, she published her second book Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science, and won the CNN-Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award, category: innovation.

Read her stories on ESOF 2016 here.

Aurel_Marin Aurel F. Marin is editor in chief of “Viata Medicala” (Eng. Medical Life), Romanian weekly newspaper for medical professionals, but also contributes to other Romanian general media outlets such as Hotnews, Revista 22, Curs de Guvernare. He is a medical doctor (with a master in health administration) turned journalist. He focuses on science journalism and science-based medicine.

Read his articles on ESOF here and here.

IMG_8637 Elisabetta Curzel describes herself as an ‘explainer’. Her domain is science and culture, and her mission is to make them enjoyable and accessible to non-specialists. An architect by training, with a two-year postgraduate degree in Cultural Heritage Management, Elisabetta regularly writes for Corriere della Sera, the leading Italian daily newspaper. Almost always online, her nose for a good story leads her to sites and sources on wide-ranging topics. She cultivates two passions: one for public engagement, the other for critical thought. As a professional journalist, she is a member of the two Italian associations recognized by the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations.
brigitte_osterath As a freelance science writer and editor with a PhD in chemistry, Brigitte Osterath reports on the world of science for German print and online media, as well as for public radio stations. She covers all kind of stories, focusing, though, on chemistry, medicine and environment. She works predominantly for Deutsche Welle – Germany‘s international broadcaster – at their bilingual (English-German) science news desk both in German and English. Moreover, She works very closely with „Nachrichten aus der Chemie“, the magazine of the German Chemical Society, and with the public radio station WDR5.

Read her article on ESOF2016 here.

Gabicp Gabriele Hess-Fernandez has been reporting for 25 years about science, medicine and technology for print, online and TV magazines. Gabriele holds a graduate degree in chemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2015 she is scientific editor-in-chief of the weekly science and innovation magazine FUTUREMAG, produced in Paris by Effervescence and broadcasted Saturdays 1.30 pm on ARTE, the European TV culture channel. Gabriele’s past stops include ZDF, BBC and Deutsche Welle TV. She is member of the French AJSPI. Outside the newsroom, she teaches science communication at university and gives media training for international scientists.

Read her article here.

Retrato de los integrante de la Agenci SINC en el local de la FECYT de Madrid el 16 de junio de 2011 Jesus Hidalgo Bravo is an audiovisual communicator and journalist, specializing in science and technology. Nowadays, he works for the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) where he is in charge of the audiovisual section. Currently, he spends much efforts on communication and popularization of science, in particular on the TV show Orbita Laika, in RTVE, the national state-owned public-service television broadcaster in Spain. He also coordinates  several audiovisual outreach projects targeted to children like Big Band Clan or Descubre con Tadeo. Finally, he also belongs to SINC Agency, the first state public agency specializing in science, technology and innovation information and he oversees several audiovisual projects on RTVE such as Fabrica de Ideas o Con Ciencia.

Read his stories here, here and here.

Stirn_Foto2 Alexander Stirn is a freelance science and technology writer based in Munich, working for various German-speaking newspapers, magazines and online news sites (e.g. Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel Online, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, GEO). He is mainly covering spaceflight, astronomy and aviation with a special focus on European cooperation and on the interdependence between society and new technological developments.

Read his article about ESOF here.

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Anthony King is a freelance science journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. He has contributed news and features to the Irish Times, Nature, Science Magazine, New Scientist, Cell, New York Times, Discover, Chemistry World, Chemistry & Industry and Horizon Magazine. He holds a science degree from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Science Communications from Dublin City University.  He writes in all areas of chemistry and biology, as well as in environment, health, science policy and science communications.  He also worked for over ten years as an editor in academic science publishing.

JWZ Jia-Wei Zhang is a science and technology writer for Xinhua News Agency. He hopes that his work can provide audiences in China with the information and analysis of the latest development in the world of science.

Read his article on ESOF 2016 here.