The people behind SMC Germany
Chief Editor, Managing Director
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-25C.V.
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 (DIE ZEIT, DIE WOCHE, FASZ). 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.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-21C.V.
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.
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 and Mirko, who are your direct contacts for everything related to SMC.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-27C.V.
Franziska Badenschier is a science editor 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.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-20C.V.
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 and for a real estate company.
IT and Data Science Project Manager
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-24C.V.
Meik Bittkowski is the project manager for IT & data science at SMC. 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.
SMC Lab Research Assistant
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-19C.V.
Lutz Dreesbach is a member of SMC’s scientific staff, working in the field of data science / Big Data. 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 Market and Media Research Department.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-28C.V.
Sönke Gäthke is an editor at SMC with a special focus on energy and mobility. 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.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-23C.V.
Marleen Halbach is a trainee at SMC. She studied biology in Hamburg, which sparked a special interest in the life sciences; the oceans have always been one of the areas closest to her heart. To communicate knowledge understandably seemed an important challenge, so she started studying science journalism at TU Dortmund University. When she has completed her traineeship, she will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. During her time at university in Dortmund she freelanced for WDR and the Münsterland Zeitung. She also worked as a research assistant for the Department of Journalism on the medien-doktor.de project. For over two years, she received a grant from the Verband der Medizin- und Wissenschaftsjournalisten (Association of Medical and Science Journalists, VMWJ) and was nominated for the Campusradio Prize for Science in 2015.
Telefon: +49 221 8888 25-22C.V.
Silvio Wenzel is an editor at SMC with a special focus on climate, energy and the environment. 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. Silvio holds a degree in chemistry.