In search of freelance science writers

Call for freelance science writers to blog about CLF topics

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) is an academic research center based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and focused on the intersection of food systems and public health. Our researchers explore the connections between food production, environment, diet, and health.

CLF’s blog, LivableFuture, in operation for about seven years, is looking for experienced, published science writers who want to write about the topics we cover: environment, ecology, food, farming, diet, and health. Decades’ worth of experience is not necessary; we are interested in emerging writers as well as veterans. We prefer writers who are eager to expand their scope to the intersection of food systems and public health. We’d prefer writers with a social media platform.

We are looking for stories that run between 800 and 1,000 words. Payment is $1/word. Include in your query which sources/angles you’ll start with. We’d like to work with you during the early stage because every public health story has a policy and political implication. Stories will be published in LivableFuture blog.

Stories will be published under a BY-SA-NC Creative Commons License; anyone is free to reprint with proper attribution for the writer and CLF. You, the writer, are free to reprint it or offer it to other outlets for reprint, as well. We will offer up the posts for reprint to our friends in the food system world for broader exposure.

Story Subjects for LivableFuture Blog 2015

These are the subjects we’d like to cover in 2015; we’re looking for stories within these subjects. Please send us your ideas about stories you might develop within any of the following subjects (maximum of three, please). Please send two samples that relate to the subject, and it’s all right if the samples are only broadly related; we are hoping to engage with writers who might not be experienced in food system thinking but would like to be. We can help you get started with sources if you’d like.

Aquaponics is the practice of growing fish and plants together in a recirculating system, ideally with minimal inputs. Possible angles: profitability; lever for change.

Aquaculture is the practice of raising fish on farms, instead of catching them in the wild. Some fish farms are located just off-shore; some are located inland. Possible angles: are they factory farms? Pollution? Effectiveness?

Phosphorus and the Chesapeake Bay
Governor Hogan has backed away from implementing the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT), which might be able to curb nutrient pollution. What now?

Resilient Food Systems and National Security
Our current food system is vulnerable to challenges from climate change, peak oil, war, and political factors, to name a few. Is increased resilience possible?

Raw Milk and Risk Management
Raw, or unpasteurized, milk has become popular with foodies and naturalists who cross state lines to purchase it. What’s the best way to manage risk?

New Antibiotic, No More Problems?
In early 2015 a research team with collaborators from Boston and Bonn reported in Nature that they’d discovered a new antibiotic organism, grown from soil, that could be resistant to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Connect this to problems within Big Meat industry.

Do Composting Programs Help or Hurt?
Wasted food creates greenhouse gas emissions while it rots in landfills—not to mention its carbon footprint along the chain from farm to plate and the missed opportunities for feeding people who are food insecure. But do composting programs encourage people to waste more food?

Food Waste, Wasted Food
There’s momentum to replace the term “food waste” with “wasted food.” What’s going on?

Will Obamacare Reform Hospitals?
Now, under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, non-profit hospitals have an incentive to invest in food and nutrition programs as part of the ACA goal of improving preventive health indicators. What are hospitals doing about this?

Why Map Food Deserts?
The Baltimore City Office of Sustainability has worked closely with CLF over many years to create maps of the city’s food deserts—but to what end?

How Does SNAP Affect Supermarkets?
In Maryland, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits are paid out to program participants once a month. This once-a-month payout is problematic for              both participants and the supermarkets where they shop.

The Ascendancy of Food Policy Councils
The number of food policy councils (FPCs) in North America (U.S., Canada, First Nations) in increasing, and interest in the power and influence of FPCs is increasing dramatically. Sometimes an FPC is successful in changing policies and making a difference in the food system.

Please contact cgrillo1 AT for further information.