Translating academic research into real-world policy is no easy feat. That's one reason journalist Ryan Blitstein is drawn to stories of its success. This month, the Chicagoan traveled to Boston to visit the hub of a network of economists using field experiments to attack poverty in developing countries. A contributing editor at Miller-McCune, he has also written for Time, Salon, and the Chicago Tribune.
A writer for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Smithsonian and former Africa bureau chief for Newsweek, Joshua Hammer has reported extensively on the corruption plaguing Zimbabwe. For Fast Company, Hammer investigated the country's newfound diamond fields and the government-sanctioned rape, murder, and mayhem they've fueled.
Oakland, California — based photographer Drew Kelly shot this month's Fast Talk, about the iPhone's big impact on video games. "To shoot Jonathan Kromrey of Namco, we went to this old video arcade in a funky strip mall in San Jose," he says. "It was insane trying to light that dark cave, with balloons and monkeys painted on the walls, but Kromrey really relaxed as soon as he was in front of Pac-Man. He got so into it. Me, I peaked with Super Mario Bros. — and I never even beat the game."
Contributing writer Elizabeth Svoboda first became interested in overseas stem-cell therapy when she heard of people traveling abroad and suddenly being able to walk again. "So long as patients are willing to pay big bucks for overseas therapy, I think there will continue to be a rift between American doctors dissuading their patients and patients who will opt for unproven therapies and a shot at a better life," she says.
Tyler Gray has covered everything from the death-penalty trial of a 16-year-old murder suspect to boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman's giant Ponzi scheme. A founder of RadarOnline.com and former senior editor at Blender, he joined Fast Company in October as deputy editor of our Web site. He lives in Manhattan with his fiancée, two kids, and a tiny Chihuahua.
"Because I'm the editor of Mediabistro's FishbowlLA, I spend a big chunk of my day thinking about old media and new media and middle media," says Tina Dupuy, a writer, comedian, and investigative journalist. For Fast Company, she turned her media-mulling to the YouTube sensation The Young Turks and the group's rapid revolution. Apparently, it hasn't been televised.
A version of this article appeared in the December/January 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.