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Our Investigations

Schuster Institute Investigations

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Page 2


Anita Hill's Legacy, Florence Graves and E.J. Graff, 4/7, Boston Globe.

Negotiation is an Art, Not a Science, Michael Blanding, 4/7,

Sneak Peek: What the White House is Thinking About Antibiotic Resistance, Maryn McKenna, 4/4, Wired Science.

A Patient in Minnesota Has Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever. (Don’t Panic.) Maryn McKenna, 4/4, Wired Science.

What They Didn't Tell You About Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, 4/1, Huffington Post.

When Do Business Alliances Make Sense? Michael Blanding, 4/1,


Awards & Honors

Phillip Martin, Schuster Institute Senior Fellow and Senior Investigative Reporter at WGBH Boston Public Radio has been honored for his reporting of "Underground Trade: From Boston to Bangkok," which received a Gold Radio Winner Award for Best Investigative Report and an UNDPI Gold, also for Best Investigative Report.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) has given their 2013 June Roth Memorial Book Award to Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Maryn McKenna for her book "Superbug."

Tracie McMillan, Schuster Institute Senior Fellow, has received a 2013 Hillman Prize for Book Journalism for her book "The American Way of Eating."

"Tijuana Greyhounds Find New Lives North of the Border" by Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Erin Siegal and co-author Eros Hoagland has received a W3 Gold Award for Web Video in the Public Service category.

"The American Way of Eating" by Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Tracie McMillan has been selected as a 2013 Books for Better Life Award in the green category.

More awards>

2013/14 Fellows' Books

"The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps," Michael Blanding, May 29, 2014, Gotham.

"A Splendid Isolation: Lessons on Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan," Madeline Drexler, February 3, 2014, Amazon Digital Services.

"Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos," Karen Coates & Jerry Redfern, December 1 2013, ThingsAsian Press.

"This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia's Back Roads," Karen Coates & Jerry Redfern, March 13, ThingsAsian Press.


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© 2008-2014 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

The Front Page

Recent Reporting   

WGBH NEW Potential Bulger Testimony Hovers Over Fred Weichel Case, Phillip Martin, 4/8, WGBH Boston Public Radio.
WGBH NEW Firefighters Mourn Michael Kennedy In West Roxbury, Phillip Martin, 4/8, WGBH Boston Public Radio.
WGBH NEW Convicted Murderer Tries To Clear His Name- With The Help Of 'Whitey' Bulger, Phillip Martin, 4/7, WGBH Boston Public Radio.
WGBH  'Godspeed, Eddie Walsh,' A Fellow Firefighter Remembers, Phillip Martin, 3/28, WGBH Boston Public Radio.
National Geographic Should the United Nations Wage War to Keep Peace? James Verini, 3/27, National Geographic.

Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

NEW Forty Years Later, Tens of Millions of U.S. Bombs Dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War Continue to Devastate Laotians

What most of us don't know about the Vietnam War is that the United States military, in its efforts to quash the Communist insurgency in the North and stop supply routes connecting North and South Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, dropped tens of millions of bombs on the people and landscape of neighboring Laos. Beginning in 1964American forces bombed Laos on average once every eight minutes for nine years.

“Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos" (ThingsAsian Press, December 1, 2013) is a new book by Schuster Institute Senior Fellows Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern dedicated to telling this story. In it, the bombing missions over Laos during the Vietnam War and their devastating effects are described through the experiences of Laotians and people on the ground there trying to clear the land of unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Most Americans, when they think of the Vietnam War, think of President Lyndon B. Johnson, country-wide anti-war demonstrations, and widespread discontent among Americans about U.S. involvement in the War. Few know to think of Laos, a country with the distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the world.

Learn more:

Human Rights
 & Social Justice Reporting

Human Trafficking
  & Modern-Day Slavery

Slavery has not ended. Today, human beings are enslaved all over the world—including in the United States. For example, they are forced to work in agriculture, fishing, gravel pits, mines, restaurants, as domestic servants, and in brothels.

Two Roxbury Men Convicted Of Human Trafficking
Phillip Martin, 2/10, WGBH Boston Public Radio

Blood on Our Backs
Karen Coates, 1/11, Al Jazeera America

A Necessary Hero (How Brandeis alum rescues women and children from modern slavery)
Claire Pavlik Purgus and Susan Piland, Winter 2014, Brandeis Magazine

The Real World of Prostitution
Phillip Martin, 11/19/2013, WGBH Boston Public Radio

Prostituted Women in Mass. Pay Greater Price than 'Johns'
Phillip Martin, 11/18/2013, WGBH Boston Public Radio

Is There Slavery In Your Supermarket? 
7/22/2013, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Rights Abuses, E. Benjamin Skinner, 7/18/2013, Bloomberg Businessweek

In a nine-month investigation, the Schuster Institute's team of reporters followed the intra-country migration of workers in the palm oil industry in Indonesia. "Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Rights Abuses," the resulting story published on July 18, 2013 in Bloomberg Businessweek, highlights the harrowing and unexpected journey one man took from freedom to slavery and back, and how few consumers, especially those in the burgeoning markets of China and India, are unaware of workers' plight.

More about human trafficking and modern-day slavery>

Food, Health, Science

Maryn McKenna on the Post-Antibiotic Age, interview by Michael Enright
The Sunday Edition, 3/2, CBC Radio 

Fecal Transplants: Treat Them Like Tissue, Not Like Drugs
Maryn McKenna, 2/23, Wired Science 

From Bird Flu to Big Farms: The Rise of China’s Agriculture
Maryn McKenna, 2/21,Wired Science 

H7N9 Flu, Year Two: What Is Going On?
Maryn McKenna, 2/10, Wired Science 

Report: FDA Documents Show Decade of Unsuccessful Attempts to Control Farm Antibiotics
Maryn McKenna, 1/28, Wired Science 

Almost Three Times the Risk of Carrying MRSA from Living Near a Mega-Farm
Maryn McKenna, 1/22, Wired Science

Can Antibiotics User Fees Force Down Drug Mis-Use and Overuse?
Maryn McKenna, 1/7, Wired Science

More about food, health, science>

Border Issues:
  Migration, Immigration,
  Drugs & Drugs Trade

Mothers Whose Ties Are Cut At The Border, Michelle Garcia with photography by Erin Siegal McIntyre, 3/19, Al Jazeera America

Death in the desert: The dangerous trek between Mexico and Arizona, Erin Siegal McIntyre, 3/11, Al Jazeera America

Teenage drug mules: Cartels are tapping minors to smuggle meth, coke, Erin Siegal McIntyre, 2/19, Al Jazeera America

Border Deaths: The Last Crossing of Tiger Martinez, Erin Siegal McIntyre and Seth Freed Wessler, 1/25, Al Jazeera America

More about border issues>

  Development & Social Justice

Back to Borneo, and an Eden at Risk
Karen J. Coates and Jerry Redfern, 2/21, New York Times

The Landscape of Memory: Archaeology, oral history, and culture deep in the Malaysian jungle
Karen J. Coates and Jerry Redfern, 2/10, Archaeology

More about the environment>

Fraud & Corruption
  in International Adoptions

Fatal Adoption
E.J. Graff, 2/22/2013,

Call it Trafficking
E.J. Graff, 1/3/2013, The American Prospect

The Stolen Makeni Children
E.J. Graff, 1/11/2012,

Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for the Truth
Erin Siegal, Beacon Press, 5/8/2012

More about fraud and corruption in international adoption>

Criminal Justice & Law

Whistleblower Sam Kellner Wants Witness Intimidation Probe
Hella Winston, 3/12, The New York Jewish Week

Kellner Case Dismissed: Prosecutors drop charges against chasidic abuse whistleblower
Hella Winston, 3/5, The New York Jewish Week

When Hollywood Meets the DA
Hella Winston, 7/16/2013, The Crime Report

Prisoners Rule
James Verini, November issue 2012, Foreign Policy

Public Secrecy About Child Sexual Abuse

For four years Schuster Senior Fellow Hella Winston’s reporting in The New York Jewish Week kept alive the issue of child sexual abuse in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. 
Read Winston's reports>

DNA Access Law for Massachusetts Prisoners

Failing the DNA Test
Michael Blanding and Lindsay Markel, November 20, 2011, The Boston Globe Magazine

Schuster Senior Fellow Michael Blanding and Assistant Director Lindsay Markel teamed with the Boston Globe Magazine to investigate why, at the time, Massachusetts was one of only two states without a DNA access bill, and what that means for prisoners who claim that DNA testing will help prove their innocence. Since the publication of "Failing the Test," Massachusetts has passed the DNA access bill into law. Read more>

More about DNA access, the causes of wrongful conviction, and the Justice Brandeis Law Project>

Government & Corporate Power

Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Trevor Aaronson asks the question: Are We Catching Terrorists? Or Creating Them? His new book "The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism" (Ig Publishing) is in bookstores on January 15, 2013.

Reporting from Far Rockaway, New York following Hurricane Sandy, Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Hella Winston examines the mismatch of services to needs of the people, and discovers a local youth group stepping in to help with recovery.

Injustice in Political Asylum is Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Jan Goodwin's focus in Broken Promises: Seeking Political Asylum in America, Ladies Home Journal, April 2010.

Torture survivors and rape victims seeking political asylum are locked up alongside hardened criminals in U.S. prisons, where they often remain for months, even years.

Goodwin won three journalism awards for this investigative report.

More investigative articles by Jan Goodwin>

Sexual Harassment of Teens at Work

Few people understand how aggressive and hostile sexual harassment can be. And few teens are adequately prepared or instructed about how to face it at their after-school, weekend, or summer jobs. 

Summer Jobs Often Lead to Harassment, ABC's WCVB-TV, July 10, 2009.

Is Your Daughter Safe at Work? PBS Now/Schuster Institute, Feb. 20, 2009.

Is Your Daughter Safe at Work? Good Housekeeping, July 2007.

More about sexual harassment of teenagers in the workplace> 

Selected ArticlesMore Institute Articles