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The Science Fund for Investigative Reporting

Please help Science pursue ambitious journalism projects.

Science has a long history of investigative journalism, from a pioneering look at the shaky science of dietary fat to a recent exposé on predatory publishers and a data-driven study of who illegally downloads scientific papers. Thanks to a generous donor, Science’s News team can now increase its support of ambitious projects in investigative reporting and data journalism. The new fund will both free up staff time and resources for projects and allow Science to back challenging and time-consuming investigations by freelance journalists.

We’re eager to tell stories about the scientific community and its practices, the influence of money and politics in science, and science-related public policy that can only be brought to light through extensive reporting, documents, and data.

We welcome proposals from journalists with a track record of high-impact reporting. Science is also open to partnering with other media outlets whose investigations may benefit from additional resources, data visualization help, or wider distribution. Please send pitches and clips of previous work to or contact Tim Appenzeller, the news editor, at We will evaluate ideas as they come in—there is no deadline for applications—and negotiate compensation for the writer based on the scope of the project.

Science is happy to discuss further support for this important fund with any interested parties. Donors to the investigative fund play no role in the selection of specific stories to pursue and will have no editorial influence over story content.


Daniel Pinkel. Pinkel, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, pioneered several key methods of analyzing chromosomes and genes. He is the co-inventor of fluorescence in situ hybridization, better known as FISH, and developed another popular technique called comparative genomic hybridization.

Supported stories

M. Wadman, "Disturbing allegations of sexual harassment in Antarctica leveled at noted scientist" (6 October 2017)

M. Wadman, "Famed cancer biologist allegedly sexually harassed women for decades" (26 April 2018)

C. Piller, J. You, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns" (5 July 2018)

C. Piller, "FDA's revolving door: Companies often hire agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews" (5 July 2018)

J. de Vrieze, "Meta-analyses were supposed to end scientific debates. Often, they only cause more controversy" (18 September 2018)

C. Piller, "Private research funders court controversy with billions in secretive investments" (6 December 2018)

C. Piller, "The war on ‘prediabetes’ could be a boon for pharma—but is it good medicine?" (7 March 2019)

M. Hvistendahl, "Exclusive: Major U.S. cancer center ousts ‘Asian’ researchers after NIH flags their foreign ties" (19 April 2019)

C. Piller, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump" (2 July 2019)

M. Wadman, "Science chief at NIH drug abuse institute resigned after sexual misconduct probe" (5 November 2019)

C. Piller, "Investigation reveals widespread double dipping in NIH program to pay off school debt" (21 November 2019)

C. Piller, "FDA and NIH let clinical trial sponsors keep results secret and break the law" (13 January 2020)

C. Piller, "NIH extends reporting mandate to more clinical trials, but obscures their policing" (14 January 2020)

M. Wadman, "Female scientists allege discrimination, neglect of research on women at NIH’s child health institute" (2 April 2020)

M. Wadman, "How women at NIH’s research hospital lost chances at childbearing" (2 April 2020)

J. Cohen, C. Piller, "Emails offer look into whistleblower charges of cronyism behind potential COVID-19 drug" (13 May 2020)

C. Piller, "Who's to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal" (8 June 2020)

C. Piller, "U.S. epidemiologists say data secrecy on COVID-19 cases cripples intervention strategies" (16 July 2020)

C. Piller, "FDA's own documents reveal agency's lax, slow, and secretive oversight of clinical research" (1 October 2020)

C. Piller, "Disgraced researchers can still reap drug industry payouts" (1 October 2020)

C. Piller, "The inside story of how Trump's COVID-19 coordinator undermined the world's top health agency" (14 October 2020)