Ep 73: Akshat Rathi, Reporter at Bloomberg News


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Today’s guest is Akshat Rathi, a London-based reporter, covering science, energy, and environment for Bloomberg News. He has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford, and a BTech in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai.

He tells stories of the people and their ideas tackling the biggest problem facing humanity: climate change. And he is currently working on a book about scaling up climate solutions.

Previously, Akshat was a senior reporter at Quartz and a science editor at The Conversation. He has also worked for The Economist and the Royal Society of Chemistry. His writings have also been published in Nature, The Hindu, The Guardian, Ars Technica, and Chemistry World, among others.

In 2018, Akshat won Journalist of the Year at the Drum’s Online Media Awards ceremony, he was a finalist for the John B. Oakes award for distinguished environmental journalism, and he was shortlisted for British Science Writer of the Year by the Association of British Science Writers. In 2019, he was shortlisted by the British Journalism Awards for the best science journalism category.

Akshat has won fellowships from Columbia University and City University of New York to enhance his reporting work. He has also served on the advisory panel of the 2019 Cairncross Review on the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK.

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • Akshat’s most recent role at Quartz
  • How and why Akshat came to be a climate journalist, and where his concern about this issue came from
  • His transition from PhD to journlism
  • The importance of rigor in science journalism, and how Akshat defines it
  • The state of media business models, and the implications for climate coverage
  • Some different paths to introduce more scientific expertise in the newsroom
  • Akshat’s assessment of the problem of climate change
  • Akshat’s thoughts about market forces vs regulation, a carbon price, US role vs developing countries, carbon removal, fission & fusion, solar geoengineering, and more
  • Role of the fossil fuel companies in the transition
  • Consumer and corporate offsets
  • Adaptation and resiliency
  • How Akshat would allocate $100B to maximize its impact towards decarbonization
  • Akshat’s advice for others looking to figure out how to help
  • A teaser for Akshat’s upcoming role with Bloomberg News (which he’s since started!)

Links to topics discussed in this episode:

Enjoy the show!

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