Shannon Rose Geary


Assistant Producer for Big Picture Science podcast | M.S. Columbia Journalism School 2022

Former Cartoonist and Bad Barista 

The Pandemic Robbed Thousands of NYC Children of Parents. Many Aren’t Getting the Help They Need.

This story was produced in collaboration with THE CITY, Columbia Journalism Investigations, Type Investigations and City Limits as part of “MISSING THEM,” THE CITY’s COVID memorial and journalism project.

Type Investigations freelance reporter Muriel Alarcón and CJI reporting fellow Chris Riotta contributed reporting. Research by Columbia Journalism School’s Shannon Rose Geary, Shelby Jouppi, Amanda Torres and Jessica Vadillo and THE CITY’s intern Emi Tuyetnhi Tran.

Translation by freelance journalist Lila Hassan and City Limits reporter Daniel Parra. Fact-checking by Paco Alvarez and Ethan Corey for Type Investigations.

Tomb with a View | Big Picture Science

A century ago, British archaeologist Howard Carter opened the only surviving intact tomb from ancient Egypt. Inside was the mummy of the boy king Tutankhamun, together with “wonderful things” including a solid gold mask.

Treasure from King Tut’s crypt has been viewed both in person and virtually by many people since. We ask what about Egyptian civilization so captivates us, thousands of years later. Also, how new technology from modern physics allows researchers to “X-Ray” the pyramids to find hidden chambers.

Vaccine Inequity | Big Picture Science

A radical plan could solve a historic global health inequity. Countries in the global south who waited for more than a year for ample supplies of Covid vaccines have banded together to make mRNA vaccines locally. If successful, they could end a dangerous dependency on wealthy nations and help stop pandemics before they start.

In a special episode, supported by the Pulitzer Center, journalist Amy Maxmen shares her reporting from southern Africa about the inspiring project led by the WHO that’s made fast progress. But it could fail, and a global imbalance will remain, if Big Pharma has its way. Find out what’s at stake.

HealthDay Now: How the New Suicide And Crisis Lifeline is Answering the Call to Reach More in Distress

HealthDay’s Mabel Jong is joined by Colleen Carr, Director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and Cal Beyer, a member of the NAASP Executive Committee and a Workforce Risk and Worker Wellbeing specialist, about the rollout of the shortened 988 lifeline. Beyer and Carr will discuss how the lifeline works, why expanding mental health resources needs to be prioritized, and what more needs to be done to ensure equitable support of those in need.

Catching Fire | Big Picture Science

We have too much “bad fire.” Not only destructive wildfires, but the combustion that powers our automobiles and provides our electricity has generated a worrying rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. And that is driving climate change which is adding to the frequency of megafires. Now we’re seeing those effects in “fire-clouds,” pyrocumulonimbus events.

But there’s such a thing as “good fire.” Indigenous peoples managed the land with controlled fires, reaped the benefits of doing so, and they’re

Dinosaurs' Last Gasp | Big Picture Science

Can we find physical evidence of the last day of the dinosaurs? The fossilized fish in a rock formation in South Dakota may chronicle the dramatic events that took place when, 66 million years ago, a large asteroid slammed into the Gulf of Mexico and caused three-quarters of all species to disappear.

Also, what new discoveries have paleontologists made about these charismatic animals, and why do dinosaurs continue to fascinate us. And a movie director talks about how he tried to hew to the late

Make Space for Animals | Big Picture Science

Long before Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space, Laika, a stray dog, crossed the final frontier. Find out what other surprising species were drafted into the astronaut corps.

They may be our best friends, but we still balk at giving other creatures moral standing. And why are humans so reluctant to accept the fact that we too are animals?
• Melanie Challenger - An author who writes on nature, environment and human history. Her latest book: “How to be Animal: A New History of Wh

Skeptic Check: Do Your Own Research | Big Picture Science

Scientists are increasingly finding their expertise questioned by non-experts who claim they’ve done their own “research.” Whether advocating Ivermectin to treat Covid, insisting that climate change is a hoax, or asserting that the Earth is flat, doubters are now dismissed by being told to “do your own research!” But is a wiki page evidence? What about a YouTube video? What happens to our quest for truth along the way? Plus, a science historian goes to a Flat Earth convention to talk reason.
• Y

Melting Down | Big Picture Science

Climate change isn’t waiting for us to act. We’ve missed several deadlines to mitigate the dangers of this existential threat, which suggests we prefer to avert our gaze rather than deal with the problem. It’s similar to the way society reacts to an incoming comet in the movie “Don’t Look Up!”

As a major Antarctic ice sheet shows signs of collapse, it’s no wonder we feel some “climate anxiety.” Can we leverage this emotion to spur action? That, and where hope lies, in this episode.
• Joellen Ru

Testing Your Metal | Big Picture Science

Catalytic converters are disappearing. If you’ve had yours stolen, you know that rare earth metals are valuable. But these metals are in great demand for things other than converters, such as batteries for electric cars, wind farms and solar panels.

We need rare earth metals to combat climate change, but where to get them? Could we find substitutes?

One activity that could be in our future: Deep sea mining. But it’s controversial. Can one company’s plan to mitigate environmental harm help?
• P

This Week in Rent: Free Internet, E-Scooters, and Record High Home Sales

The 90-year-old Riverside Church is broadening its footprint in Morningside Heights and Harlem.

After purchasing the landmarked McGiffert Hall from Columbia’s Union Theological Seminary in June 2020, Riverside now owns two blocks of property spanning from 120th Street and Riverside Drive to 122nd Street and Claremont Avenue.

“We need to be prayerfully seeking out what God would have us do and be in the next 90 years so that we can continue a vibrant community that is serving not only Harlem, b

In This Week's Newsletter Guy Fieri’s Ghost Restaurant, a Beyoncé Grant in the Bronx and Billboards on Broadway…

You can’t take a trip down to Flavortown, but delivery’s an option. Guy Fieri’s ghost restaurant is one of an increasing and unknowable number of restaurants that operate without a physical location but thrive on food delivery platforms like Uber, DoorDash and Seamless.

Now, Manhattan’s Community Board 6 is taking the first step in an effort to regulate these proliferating operations. During a Sept. 30 meeting, the Board decided to draft a resolution that would create a system to identify and p

Fantastic-er Voyage | Big Picture Science

Thinking small can sometimes achieve big things. A new generation of diminutive robots can enter our bodies and deal with medical problems such as intestinal blockages. But do we really want them swimming inside us, even if they’re promising to help? You might change your mind when you hear what else is cruising through our bloodstream: microplastics!

We take a trip into the human body, beginning with the story of those who first dared to open it up for medical purposes. But were the first surg

Skeptic Check: Hypnosis | Big Picture Science

You are getting sleeeepy and open to suggestion. But is that how hypnotism works? And does it really open up a portal to the unconscious mind? Hypnotism can be an effective therapeutic tool, and some scientists suggest replacing opioids with hypnosis for pain relief. And yet, the performance aspect of hypnotism often seems at odds with the idea of it being an effective treatment.

In our regular look at critical thinking, Skeptic Check, we ask what part of hypnotism is real and what is an illusi

Finding Endurance | Big Picture Science

In 1915, Endurance, the ship that took Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic, was slowly crushed and sank. Shackleton, and the 28 men he brought with him, were camped on the ice near the ship, and watched helplessly as their transport went to a watery grave, two miles down.

But a recent expedition has found the Endurance, taking the world back to the last hurrah of the heroic age of polar expedition. How was it found, and what will be done with it?

Nuclear Worries | Big Picture Science

The nuclear threat is back, and the Doomsday Clock is almost at midnight. How did we end up here again? In the 1930s, German physicists learned that splitting the nuclei of heavy atoms could release tremendous amounts of energy. Such theoretical ideas became relevant when WW II began.

Today, we try to eliminate nuclear weaponry while exploiting the atom for peaceful uses, such as energy generation. But as the invasion of Ukraine shows, power plants can also be military targets. We lay out some
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