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Together for better reporting

The people at SMC

Volker Stollorz

Volker Stollorz

Chief Editor, Managing Director

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-25

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Volker Stollorz is the chief editor and managing director of SMC. A passionate science journalist, he has been reporting at the sometimes difficult interface between science and society since 1991. After studying biology and philosophy at the University of Cologne and the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, Volker was involved in the launch of three science desks first-hand (ZEIT, Die Woche, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung). He is a long-standing member of the Association of German Science Journalists, WPK, and has won multiple awards for his print, online and radio reports.

Mirko Meurer

Mirko Meurer

Managing Director

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-21

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Mirko Meurer is commercial managing director of SMC and responsible for fundraising. Having studied economics at Witten/Herdecke University and Rutgers University, since 1996, Mirko has held various executive positions in media corporations and commerce, amongst others with BauNetz Media (BertelsmannSpringer), Gruner+Jahr WirtschaftsPresse, WEKA MEDIA and the social network “werkenntwen” (RTL interactive). He is actively involved in the architectural association, koelnarchitektur e.V., and a member of Witten/Herdecke University Advisory Board.

Beate Spiegel

Beate Spiegel

Managing Director
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Managing director Beate Spiegel brings her many years of experience as managing director of the Klaus Tschira Foundation with her to SMC. Just like SMC, the Klaus Tschira Foundation is incorporated as a non-profit limited company and has been promoting science and science communication ever since it was established. Beate is also managing director of the “Forscherstation”, the Klaus Tschira Center for Early Childhood Science Education, as well as chairperson of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation. She works together closely with Volker Stollorz and Mirko Meurer, who are your direct contacts for everything related to SMC.

Franziska Badenschier

Franziska Badenschier

Science Editor

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-27

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Franziska Badenschier is a science editor for medicine and life sciences at SMC. Her previous work as a freelance science journalist for radio and online media took her all over the world. Her specialities are neglected (tropical) diseases, health systems in developing countries and global health. She has won several awards, including the Peter Hans Hofschneider Research Award and the Media Award of the German AIDS Foundation. In 2014, Franziska was ranked amongst the top ten science journalists by medium magazin. She studied science journalism in Dortmund and Strasbourg and trained with Spiegel Online.

Ute Bieringer

Ute Bieringer

Management Assistant

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-20

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Ute Bieringer (M.A.) works for SMC as a management assistant. She studied geography, English and history at the University of Cologne, completing a thesis on geo-determinism in the debate on climate change in the German print media. After finishing university, she worked in administration and as a management assistant in a law firm as well as for a real estate company.

Meik Bittkowski

Meik Bittkowski

IT and Data Science Project Manager

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-24

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Meik Bittkowski is the project manager for IT & data science at SMC with special responsibility for the SMC Lab. He previously worked for Münster University Library as a digital services specialist and was involved in data journalism projects as a research assistant in the Scientific Databases and Visualization group at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. Meik studied philosophy and German in Oldenburg and Heidelberg as well as computer science at FernUniversität Hagen. He obtained his Ph.D. in Heidelberg with a dissertation on Robert Kane’s Natural Libertarianism.

Lutz Dreesbach

Lutz Dreesbach

SMC Lab Research Assistant

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-19

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Lutz Dreesbach is a member of SMC’s scientific staff, working in the field of data science/Big Data (SMC Lab). He studied sociology, empirical social research and politics at the University of Cologne. As an undergraduate he worked, amongst others, for the WDR news desk, later becoming a free-lancer for the ARD Press Club. Most recently, he was employed by Deutsche Welle in Bonn as a web analyst in the Marketing and Media Research Department.

Sönke Gäthke

Sönke Gäthke

Science Editor

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-28

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Sönke Gäthke is a science editor for energy and technology at SMC. He started working as a journalist in 1995, initially in local radio and later as a science journalist for DLF, WDR, the BBC and the Economist. The role of social responsibility in science is his passion; his special interests include energy, transport, technology, digitisation and society. He prides himself on maintaining an independent approach and is fascinated by interconnections and historical lines of development. He has received numerous awards for his radio programmes, including the “UmweltMedienpreis” (Environmental Media Prize), awarded by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe, and the “Ernst-Schneider-Preis”, which is a journalism prize awarded by the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce.

Marleen Halbach

Marleen Halbach

Science Editor

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-23

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Marleen Halbach is a science editor for medicine and life sciences at SMC. She originally studied biology in Hamburg, followed by science journalism at TU Dortmund University and subsequently became a trainee at SMC. During her traineeship, she also did work experience at German broadcaster, Deutschlandfunk. Whilst at university in Dortmund she freelanced for WDR and the Münsterland Zeitung and also worked as a research assistant for the Department of Journalism on the medien-doktor.de project.

Meike Hemschemeier

Meike Hemschemeier

Projektleiterin "Operation Explorer"

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-13

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Meike Hemschemeier betreut beim SMC den „Operation Explorer“, der Krankenhaus-Daten vom Statistischen Bundesamt für Journalisten auswertet. Sie arbeitet außerdem als freie Wissenschaftsjournalistin. Ihr Themenschwerpunkt ist das deutsche Gesundheitssystem. Dazu hat sie mehrere Dokumentationen für die ARD „Story“ realisiert und ein Buch geschrieben. Sie wurde mit zahlreichen Preisen und Recherchestipendien ausgezeichnet, unter anderem mit mehreren Prix Leonardo Gold, mit dem Journalistenpreis der Deutschen Umweltstiftung, mit dem Deutschen Wirtschaftsfilmpreis und mit dem Peter Hans Hofschneider-Recherchepreis. Sie hat in Dortmund studiert und beim Westdeutschen Rundfunk volontiert.

Silvio Wenzel

Silvio Wenzel

Science Editor

Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-22

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Silvio Wenzel is a science editor for the environment and climate at SMC. He previously spent 13 years working freelance as a television science journalist, mostly writing for the WDR science programmes Quarks & Co., nano and Planet Wissen. Together with his colleagues in a team of writers, he won the Ludwig Bölkow Journalism Award and the ALEX Media Award for individual episodes of Quarks. He holds a degree in chemistry.