Join journalist, author, and the director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing Seth Mnookin as he chats with investigative reporter Azeen Ghorayshi about sexual harassment in the sciences. Also in this episode: Kasha Patel talks with researchers about using social media to improve search and rescue missions; and Jarrod Sport reports on the development of a program to improve the tracking of citations in scholarly journals.

Below are the individual segments and a full transcript of the podcast, lightly edited for clarity. You can also subscribe to the Undark podcast at iTunes or listen on Spotify.


Kasha Patel: Hello, Undark listeners. It’s your host, Kasha Patel. On today’s episode, we’re going to talk to Azeen Ghorayshi, who broke several big sexual misconduct stories including Neil Degrasse Tyson and Geoff Marcy. We’re also going to learn about an ongoing issue in scientific publishing — how to tell if a scientific paper is still true.

But first, I want to take you back to Tuesday, April 15, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts. Now, I was getting my master’s in science journalism at Boston University, and I was actually planning to leave my internship a little early to stand at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to cheer on the runners. Luckily, though, I got caught up in work because around 2:50, my phone started buzzing relentlessly with messages: Stay away from Copley Square. People are screaming. There’s so much smoke. Everyone, please be safe. I couldn’t find any news on Google, but Twitter was filled with real-time reports: A bomb had exploded at the marathon.

Within 30 minutes, news reports were coming in, but social media was just quicker. Today, when there’s a disaster, a lot of us automatically pair news reports with social media feeds to stay on top of breaking news or to check in on friends and family. And now, federal agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard are actually starting to incorporate this data from all these different social media sites to improve their search and rescue efforts and emergency responses. They call it crisis mapping.

Here’s Evan Twarog, who is a senior cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He describes himself as a “data nerd” and started working on this project two years ago with his advisor.

Evan Twarog: Crisis mapping is a concept that dates back to before the Haitian earthquake in 2010. But since then, there really hasn’t been a major response that demanded it for the Coast Guard.

Kasha Patel: Until Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston, Texas area and caught a lot of people off guard, without enough time to evacuate.

Evan Twarog: Harvey kind of came out of nowhere and it was a particularly bad event. Suddenly you have four plus feet of rain getting dumped on the city of Houston. So what happens in flat area with that much rain? Really catastrophic flooding. And a lot of those people start calling 911, and even if you have 100 operators on the line, you still might have 10,000 people calling at the same time. There is just no way to handle that sort of volume. So what ended up happening is you had these wait periods that ended up extending four, six, even eight hours to reach a 911 operator. The scenario that unfortunately played out too many times across Houston is that you are a family of four that’s been forced onto your roof by flood waters and they’re continuing to rise higher and higher and higher. And you have been on hold with 911 for hours. It’s getting dark now and your phone’s at 7 percent battery. Like, what are you going to do? And the solution that a lot of people ended up turning to was social media, because maybe you can’t reach 911, but your friend or family member can on your behalf.

Kasha Patel: Twarog’s team worked with an NGO that collected 1,000 social media posts of people asking for 911 help. Essentially, they set up an algorithm to search Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for keywords. These messages were something like “My family has been forced onto the roof. Someone come rescue me. Come help.” Twarog then placed these geo-tagged posts on a map to see where people were posting from.

Evan Twarog: So we said, ok, if a helicopter pilot is responding to a 911 heat map versus a social media heatmap, where are they going?

Kasha Patel: These 1,000 social media messages involving 5,000 survivors was actually a small number compared to the more than 30,000 911 phone calls. But Twarog noticed a difference between the locations of emergency social media posts versus where the telephone calls were made.

Evan Twarog: And one of the things we ended up finding out was that there were completely different areas between social media and 911, in that there were these dark spots, these black holes, where 911 is not picking up calls for help but social media was.

Kasha Patel: These were areas where the wait times to make it through to a 911 operator were really long so people turned to social media. To be clear, calling 911 is still the preferred method of asking for help because the infrastructure is already set up to process and respond to those phone calls. But Twarog is slowly making strides of how to incorporate social media posts in rescue efforts.

Evan Twarog: Before we send that helicopter out, before we send that flight team out, let’s have somebody look at this and say “is this legit?” And that’s kind of where the Coast Guard and FEMA and other response organizations have pushed over the past year. FEMA is doing some incredible work, setting up a crowd sourcing unit that not only does social media monitoring but they are looking at other data sources as well, and they’re doing it in a really flexible, innovative way.

Kasha Patel: Twarog is referring to the Crowdsourcing Unit within the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. The crowdsourcing unit, which had its first activation for a natural disaster in 2017, partners with private and non-profit organizations to gather data and develop specific crowdsourced products related to a disaster.

For instance, during Hurricane Maria, FEMA needed to know which of Puerto Rico’s 71 hospitals had power and which were closed. So they asked for help from an established volunteer network called the Standby Task Force, which often helps out FEMA during critical times.

Sophia Liu: The official side was on the ground trying to get information so it’s been really a different tactic as opposed to the volunteers leveraging collaboration online to just find information that they can through various untraditional channels

Kasha Patel: That’s Dr. Sophia Liu, a Crowdsourceress as she calls herself. She currently serves as a FEMA crowdsourcing coordinator. She says in 36 hours, volunteers were able to provide updates on 33 of the 71 hospitals. Officials only got information on 30. The volunteers also found out extra information like which facilities could provide dialysis treatment.

Sophia Liu: There is sometimes this misconception that people think it’s just members of the public that are providing information but often times it’s also mainstream news as well as official channels such as federal agencies that are pushing official information out so that’s often why these digital volunteers can provide faster information, because they’re curating and collating more quickly than how it’s being done on the official efforts.

Kasha Patel: Liu says in other contexts, she’s also used apps and social media platforms like Nextdoor, Waze, and GasBuddy to learn what road, energy, and gas conditions are at the local level. Now, they’re starting to include data from these crowdsourced platforms more formally in emergency responses.

Sophia Liu: Really, our main goal has been to increase and improve situational awareness during disasters so it can improve decision making among the emergency management community

Kasha Patel: Now, you know, part of what makes social media fun is that it’s such a fast way to connect with others and be heard. Which I guess can also sometimes make it addictive, but all those characteristics make it pretty useful for providing valuable information in urgent situations. And at the end of the day, FEMA, the Coast Guard, and so many organizations want to help rescue people in dangerous situations. And just maybe social media and crowdsourced platforms can help with that.


Next, we’re going to dive into the world of scientific publishing and point out some oversights in how we deem if a paper is important. Here’s reporter Jarrod Sport.

Jarrod Sport: In 1980, a five sentence letter to the editor entered the scientific literature and became a cornerstone of the opioid crisis. It stated that patients rarely developed an addiction to opioids in the hospital — a claim that drug companies jumped on and extrapolated for their marketing and other scientists incorporated in their own work. Today, we know the conclusions later drawn from that letter were deeply flawed. Millions of people have struggled with opioid addiction and hundreds of thousands have died from overdose. Yet a 2017 analysis showed that references to the letter had appeared in more than 600 scientific articles, most of the time uncritically.

Veronique Kiermer: Things might even continue to be cited after they have been proven wrong.

Jarrod Sport: That’s Veronique Kiermer, publisher and executive editor of the Public Library of Science, or PLOS, which publishes several journals. She is talking about a big question in science publishing right now: How can we keep track of whether or not a paper is still considered, well, true?

You can think of the body of scientific papers like a vast network, with each paper cross referenced to others through citations.

Veronique Kiermer: The unit of communication and credit in science is a research article. This is how scientists disseminate their results and share them with the rest of the scientific community.

Jarrod Sport: Scientists often use the number of citations an article receives as a proxy for importance, along with the prestige of the journal it’s published in.

Peter Suber: Prestige is…call it a social attitude — it’s not an objective fact about the journal. But if you want to be more quantitative about prestige then you look at citation counts. How often are the articles in a given journal cited? You can actually count that up.

Jarrod Sport: That’s Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. He says that impact motivates scientists…they want their ideas to get wide exposure through publication in high prestige journals and lots of citations. Such journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet, have what we call high impact factors, which reflect the average number of citations that journal received in a given year. But it simply doesn’t tell the whole story.

Veronique Kiermer: It’s not a representation of the worth of a given article, let alone a representation of the worth of an author on that article.

Jarrod Sport: The problem is that a journal may publish work across many different disciplines with different citation habits. And even when a paper receives a lot of citations, the total number is neutral — it doesn’t say whether the new research supports or overturns the paper. Experts in the field may know that a paper’s citations have overturned it, but as the case of the opioid letter shows, it’s a flawed system.

This issue of sifting through lots of references to figure out the quality of a source isn’t new. In the beginning of the world wide web, browsers displayed pages that received the most links. The higher the count, the higher the visibility. This was a seemingly fair appraisal of value, but the quality of links wasn’t being judged, only the quantity. Google eventually improved this model by weighing both the quality and quantity of links, and today PageRank is still used in Google’s algorithm. And lawyers have a system called “Shepard’s Citations.” It follows the same logic: When a lawyer writes a brief, they “shephardize” to check if more recent judgements have overturned a case they want to use as precedent. But so far, scientists haven’t had that kind of tool.

Josh Nicholson: We think there’s a better way to look at research and it’s not just to look at impact and kind of sexiness of articles, but to really look at “Is it reliable or not?” Because people are going to build work off of this.

Jarrod Sport: That’s Josh Nicholson, who got a Ph.D. in biology from Virginia Tech and then co-founded a startup called Scite.

His team has built a machine learning platform that uses artificial intelligence to judge how citations were used in articles. From an initial batch of 40,000 human-judged classifications, the automated process learns to evaluate articles, and it places millions of citations into three buckets: supported, contradicted, or mentioned.

This platform is currently in beta, and the automated algorithm is being tested by a group of researchers who signed up to participate. Josh showed me how his platform works. He pulled up a paper on his database and clicked through the filtering buttons that isolate supported, refuted, and mentioned citations.

Josh Nicholson: It’s not perfect, though, and we think it’s just a way for researchers to discover the literature behind it.

Jarrod Sport: Researchers have already contested classifications, and when disputes are filed, Scite turns to impartial scientists to judge the validity of the challenge. If a classification requires a correction, Scite employees step in to update the citation manually.

Scite has potential to help people navigate this web of references and judge for themselves how a paper stacks up. But there’s a complication:

Josh Nicholson: You can see that we don’t have all citations…we’re working exclusively with open citations for the time being.

Jarrod Sport: Scite’s algorithm can only see and sort an article if it’s open-access — if it’s available to anyone, for free. That’s a big vulnerability, because many of the top journals lock their content behind a paywall and any citing articles published there wouldn’t be counted in Scite’s database. Shephard’s citations, the legal tool, work because the vast majority of court documents are public. Suber says there are major cultural shifts that would have to take place before science embraced open-access.

Peter Suber: The chief obstacles are cultural, the incentives that induce faculty to publish in one kind of place rather than another kind of place, or to dispose of their copyright in one kind of way rather than another kind of way.

And I don’t want to sound pessimistic about that, but I want to say solving those problems is a long-term game. We activists for open-access have to play the long game to deal with them.

Jarrod Sport: Suber does believe that companies like Scite can help bring greater transparency, but institutional change can’t begin until incentivizing structures change.

For PLOS’s Veronique Kiermer, even open access isn’t enough.

Veronique Kiermer: We’ve talked about open access for a long time. We’re now talking about open science. Open Science is really about opening up the entire research cycle so that outputs that are produced throughout the research process can be actually disseminated and interrogated by more people.

Jarrod Sport: Could open science help prevent errors, errors like those in the flawed opioid letter in 1980? We’ll never know. But we do know that the citation of that letter helped trigger a widespread health epidemic. It’s tempting to try to put a number on the worth of a paper: How good was the journal it came out in? How many other scientists reference it? But that’s not how good science works. A paper is part of a conversation, for others to test and revisit until we get closer to truth.


Kasha Patel: More and more, we are hearing of sexual harassment cases across all disciplines. Reporter Azeen Ghorayshi uncovered a few of those cases in the science world. Interviewing her is Seth Mnookin. Seth is a journalist, author, and director of MIT’s graduate program in science writing. Take it away Seth.

Seth Mnookin: It is my absolute pleasure to welcome to the podcast Azeen Ghorayshi, an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed News who has done a lot of reporting over the last several years, and a lot of really groundbreaking reporting on sexual harassment, especially in the scientific community. Azeen, welcome to the Undark Podcast.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Thanks for having me, Seth.

Seth Mnookin: I wanted to start by asking you really how you first started reporting on these stories. If I’m remembering correctly, was it Geoff Marcy, the exoplanet expert at UC Berkeley, I think in 2015, was that one of the first big stories about this that you reported on?

Azeen Ghorayshi: That was the first story that really dug into a proven case of a faculty member sexually harassing students, and really laid out the institutional response and showed how Marcy had essentially gone through an investigation that showed that he had sexually harassed students, and yet was still not facing really any consequences from his very elite university that he worked at, UC Berkeley. It was the first time that it was sort of laid out for people A, that this is a problem that is happening, and B, this is how it’s allowed to continue.

Before that, the BuzzFeed Science desk had launched in January of 2015, and pretty much from the beginning, Ginny had made it, Virginia Hughes, our editor, had made it one of our goals to report on the problem of sexism in science. There had been all these small controversies about the broader culture of sexism in science. Along with that, Kate Clancy and her group had been doing these really terrific, long-term studies looking at rates of sexual harassment among junior researchers in science, but there hadn’t yet been a concrete case to focus on until the Geoff Marcy case and these students actually coming forward and filing a Title IX complaint with UC Berkeley, getting an unsatisfactory response, and then deciding they wanted to turn to the media, and then they came to us. So we told that story and then continued reporting on this beat since then.

Seth Mnookin: One thing that was really striking to me both about the Marcy case and then about a number of other cases… these were not known publicly, and in a lot of cases, if there had been investigations, those investigations had occurred behind closed doors. But in some cases, it sounded like there were sort of open secrets within those communities, either within that academic institution or within the field of science. Why do you think it is that none of this came out earlier, that in some cases, really egregious behavior was able to be kept this sort of secret?

Azeen Ghorayshi: I don’t think, first of all, that this problem is specific to science. We’re seeing that all over the place. Obviously, Harvey Weinstein was one of the biggest open secrets in Hollywood. Everyone knew to some extent what he was later accused of publicly. I think that one thing I’ve thought a lot about over the past several years of reporting on this is the role of legacy, particularly in the scientific community. There are people like Geoff Marcy or James Watson, for example, most recently reported by Amy Harmon in The Times, these big stars in science where their contributions to the field have been so impactful and have really inspired many generations of new scientists and really opened the pathway to all these new discoveries, where it’s hard to wrestle with their contribution to science and how to separate that from how they treated or how they have spoken about publicly other scientists in their midst or other people in society.

I think it is increasingly being realized that giving a free pass for those behaviors is damaging not only to the people who enter the field of science, but the actual science that’s produced. I think that has been a shift that I’ve definitely noticed over the last few years, especially as big institutions like the NSF, NIH, AAAS, and now the National Academy of Sciences are starting to make real policy changes and say, you know, try to draw a line about who can be included in this community and who cannot.

Seth Mnookin: You raised a really, I think, fascinating point. James Watson obviously recently verbalized again some odious views about race and intelligence, views that he first expressed more than a decade ago, and while he was sort of quasi-exiled the first time around, it seems that this time, this has really resulted in institutions cutting ties with him. The individuals who were perpetrating this behavior, whether it be sexual harassment, sexual assault, racist thinking, they obviously and correctly are the ones who are getting the lion’s share of the blame in these situations. But in some ways, it really has been a whole culture that has allowed those people to get away with that type of behavior for so long.

Azeen Ghorayshi: I do think that one thing that’s become really clear since the Geoff Marcy story was made public, and we’ve had many cases since, Christian Ott …

Seth Mnookin: Right.

Azeen Ghorayshi: … Michael Katze, Inder Verma, it’s too many to name at this point. I think one thing that became clear is that there was a process in place for dealing with reports of sexual harassment or gender discrimination, but that these processes were inconsistent, that they didn’t necessarily have any accountability built in, and that a lot of what institutions were doing was protecting their own liability. Then what was also being floated was “How much are they factoring in their bottom line?” which is some of these people that have been found to have sexually harassed students, for example, were also bringing in tens of millions of dollars of research funding to the universities that they worked at.

So I think that what was once a secret process that maybe most people didn’t even know existed, I think now is widely understood to exist. There have been a lot of calls for making that process more transparent and more effective. I think on the bottom line about research funding, that’s where the agencies really come in because for a long time when I was reporting these stories, I would call NIH, and I would say, “What comment if any do you have to give on this?” And they really didn’t have much to say. They had no process in place for reports of sexual harassment. It was not even part of the calculus for deciding who gets grants because it was not even a requirement to report.

Seth Mnookin: Right.

Azeen Ghorayshi: NSF has since changed that. NIH is… Francis Collins has come out and said that he regrets, he came out very recently, I think this year, saying he regrets that they didn’t take a stance on this earlier. They’ve now gone back, and I think they have removed certain people from grants who were found to have sexually harassed people in their labs. They have also removed people from peer reviews, so there’s beginning to be some more strings being pulled on the accountability end.

Azeen Ghorayshi: I think James Watson making comments that most people would call very openly racist, or even in 1968 writing about Rosalind Franklin in a way that now, most people would openly declare is very sexist, I think the fact that it took, what, 50 years for people to finally say this is completely unacceptable. You know, you can’t have honorary titles, and all the same things that we’re seeing roll out now, I think it shows how much work there is remaining for this actual meaningful, cultural change. It is very much still around us and in the works. This is not going to happen overnight by erasing people’s honorary titles because we have allowed this to perpetuate for 50 years, you know?

Seth Mnookin: Right. That to me really speaks to another huge issue in research, which is that tenure is for all intents and purposes not only a lifetime appointment, but a lifetime appointment that makes you almost seemingly bulletproof to all but the most serious charges, and even sometimes to those serious charges. It’s really astounding. It seems unlikely that that’s going to change because the way that tenure is administered in the U.S. seems so ingrained. Have you heard of any discussion or sentiment towards examining that at all?

Azeen Ghorayshi: I don’t think so. That’s actually something that came up over and over again in these cases when we were reporting them was people saying the forces that play in academia from how hierarchical it is to tenure, they really make this problem more untenable. It’s more difficult to address because of these ingrained traditions and the structure of this field. We’re seeing this too with the National Academy of Sciences, which is that, obviously, a very elite group of scientists. I think that the makeup of NAS is currently 83 percent male, and something like the average age is like 72 years old. And it’s a lifetime appointment.

Seth Mnookin: So very representative of the population.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Right, yeah. Exactly. But these are supposed to be the best and brightest minds. What do you do when the best and brightest minds are given a lifetime appointment and also include people who have been shown to do terrible things? I think they still haven’t figured out how to deal with that problem because of this sort of storied tradition of what NAS is and what legacy is in science. I think that’s something that I’m definitely keeping an eye on. I think it’s really an interesting existential question as we move forward in terms of how the field decides to deal with this problem.

Seth Mnookin: I could talk to you about this all day. There are a couple more questions I want to ask. One is, you’ve written about these scientists, scientists that we’ve talked about who are well-known in their fields, maybe not that well-known to the larger public. You’ve also written stories about people who do have more of a following in the public at large, like Lawrence Krauss, the physicist and famous skeptic at Arizona State University, and most recently Neil Degrasse Tyson, probably the most prominent public scientist in the country and arguably the most prominent and visible African-American scientist. What has it been like to publish these very hard-hitting stories about figures who have very intense, devoted, loyal public followings?

Azeen Ghorayshi: Yeah. I’d say those two cases have been extremely different to report on because of that following and because of who comprises that following. I think both Lawrence Krauss and Neil Degrasse Tyson are huge celebrities, especially Neil Degrasse Tyson. I mean, he’s a huge celebrity with the public at large, but both of them have very devoted followings among the sort of atheist, skeptic crowd, which a lot has been written about this community online. I recommend anyone to go read about this because the overlap with some Gamergate-y elements, it is a very male, very geek culture, gaming culture, very, sort of now, we’re seeing kind of anti-#MeToo community. I don’t want to make any generalizations about their fans. I’m not saying that everyone falls into that category, but definitely when we’ve published those two stories, the response was different. There were a lot of people who were saying that there was no evidence against them. This is particularly the case in the Lawrence Krauss story. The sort of foundation of the skeptic community is to reject belief and to rely on evidence in order to understand the world around us.

That gets in a very tricky situation when evidence can be called into question, and when the only quote unquote evidence being presented is the testimony of a woman who, in this case, underwent harassment by Lawrence Krauss. So we saw a lot more questioning, a lot more vitriol directed towards the women who came forward I think in those two cases versus the academics that we were talking about previously, which was interesting. I definitely expected it with Lawrence Krauss because sexual harassment and sexual assault, and even rape, have been raised as issues in that community over the last five years or so as women have become more prominent in the skeptic community.

With Neil Degrasse Tyson, it was also somewhat expected, just because he’s such a beloved figure, and that’s something we go into in the story is that that was something that all the women coming forward really wrestled with as well was that this very, very, the most probably ever prominent black scientist might be sort of a casualty of this. Then, they were very clear in saying that to them, the true casualty was the woman who claimed to have been raped by him 30 years ago, another black scientist that was lost potentially to the field. Sorry. I think that was a rambling response.

Seth Mnookin: No, no.

Azeen Ghorayshi: In terms of these famous people, the other big difference with Lawrence Krauss and Neil Degrasse Tyson is that the stories that we had written before, that I’d written before about Geoff Marcy, Michael Katze, Christian Ott, those all came before Harvey Weinstein, before #MeToo.

Seth Mnookin: Right, yep.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Lawrence Krauss and Neil Degrasse Tyson are stories that we published here at BuzzFeed after this had become one of the biggest national conversations. I think they’re, built into that being a big national conversation is a knee-jerk response among some people that, you know, oh, this is just another #MeToo story, #MeToo has gone too far, that adage that we’re seeing come up more and more. So I think there is a little bit more, sometimes some nuance lost because people think they know what to expect at this point.

Seth Mnookin: Yeah. The skeptic community, I mean, we could have a two-hour conversation just about that. It’s a community I know a little bit because of some of my previous work. It really is, I think you were very diplomatic in saying that there was some overlap with some aspects of Gamergate. There is a very vocal aspect of that community that is pretty aggressively critical of not only the #MeToo movement, but in some cases of women in general being a part of or being a vocal part of the skeptic movement, which I think a lot of people from the outside would assume oh, here’s a movement that is opposed to quackery and supports science-based medicine, you would not see that. But it shows that the type of sexism that you’re writing about and that we’re dealing with as a society really is pervasive across all different fields and all different areas.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And again and again, they would say, “Show us the evidence,” and it becomes very clear [that] who gets to decide what evidence is really matters.

Seth Mnookin: Exactly.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Zooming out completely, I think that’s something that the scientific community more generally is grappling with is that what happens when the people who have shaped this field in a very fundamental way have these abhorrent views or have treated women around them in a sexist way, does that seep into the science they made and the science that people made after them? I think there are really a lot of deeper questions that people are definitely grappling with right now as a result.

One thing, Seth, I did want to touch on — I think there is this far more difficult conversation happening right now about what happens to these people once their honorary titles are stripped, once they do resign, or get fired, or whatever. What do we do with them? And should they just be expelled altogether? Is that really what the goal is here? My very good friend, who is brilliant, who’s been reporting on sexual assault for longer than I have, wrote an op-ed for The Times talking about this in the context of Charlie Rose and Louis C.K. staging comebacks. What as a society do we want to do with these, as she put it, bad men?

I think that is an ongoing question that is super interesting to me. One of the things she talks about at the end of that op-ed is a more restorative justice approach that doesn’t work in every instance, but is a thing that I think is worth thinking about, which is engaging a lot more with the deeper problems that are at play here, and engaging, in some instances, with the perpetrators themselves. I think that takes a different approach than expelling people altogether. It’s difficult, and I’m a reporter, I report on these problems. I don’t have the answers to what will fix them, but I highly recommend anyone who’s interested in the what’s next question in reading that op-ed.

Seth Mnookin: Well, Azeen, it has been incredibly wonderful talking to you. Also, it’s been so incredible reading your reporting over these last several years. For anyone who is not familiar with all these issues, I could not recommend more strongly reading Azeen’s pieces on BuzzFeed about all of these cases and issues of sexual harassment more generally. It’s really groundbreaking work, and I think that as much as The New York Times’ and The New Yorker’s Harvey Weinstein reporting got the larger #MeToo conversation started, your reporting and BuzzFeed’s reporting really played a crucial step in initiating that conversation, and a step that I think we should recognize. So Azeen Ghorayshi, thank you again so much for being on the Undark Podcast.

Azeen Ghorayshi: Thanks, Seth. Thanks for having me.

Seth Mnookin: Of course. I hope we talk again soon.

Kasha Patel: Well, that is all, Undark listeners. Thank you for joining us. We’re produced by Lydia Chain, music is by the Undark team, and I’m your host, Kasha Patel. Talk to you next month.