Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "scientists" ...

  • Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons

    The first reported cases of Lyme disease surfaced in 1968; a half century later, CDC scientists believe there could be more than 300,000 new cases in the US every year. As this and other debilitating tick-borne diseases continue to spread, their origins have remained elusive. Some believe global warming is fueling the epidemic, others attribute it to human migration. But the fundamental question persists: where did Lyme disease come from? This mystery prompted Stanford University science writer and Lyme disease survivor Kris Newby to launch an investigation that led her to startling discoveries linking the outbreak to America’s clandestine biological warfare program. In BITTEN: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons (Harper Wave; May 14, 2019; ISBN: 978-006-289-6278; 352 pages; $26.99)—a riveting work of scientific reportage and biography that reads like a thriller—Newby reveals the story of Willy Burgdorfer, the man who discovered the microbe behind the disease, and his role in covering up evidence that could implicate another tick- borne organisms in the original outbreak.
  • Fighting The Wrong Fires

    OPB’s science and environment team spent a year analyzing government data, reviewing scientific literature and interviewing more than 100 people to find out why firefighting costs have soared and why, 30 years after its scientists first raised red flags, the U.S. Forest Service continues to risk lives and waste millions of dollars fighting fires it doesn't need to fight.
  • Dangerous Doses

    For one story, “The hunt for dangerous doses,” investigative reporter Sam Roe led a collaboration with data scientists, pharmacologists and cellular researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in an attempt to discover potentially deadly combinations of prescription drugs. Intrigued by the novel data mining algorithms developed by Columbia scientist Nicholas Tatonetti, Roe proposed that the two team up to search for drug combinations that might cause a potentially fatal heart condition. Roe also recruited Dr. Ray Woosley, the leading authority on that condition and a former dean of the University of Arizona medical school, to the team. Over two years, as he orchestrated the project, Roe traveled to New York 12 times to meet with Tatonetti. They brainstormed, analyzed data and talked with Woosley via conference calls. Several of Tatonetti’s graduate students joined the team, as did Columbia cellular researchers whose work provided a critical layer of validation of the results.
  • Reliving Agent Orange

    Four decades after the Vietnam War, scientists are still learning how exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange has harmed veterans and their children. This report showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs has hesitated to compensate sick veterans, instead weighing political and financial costs in secret. To bolster their position, they found that government officials have routinely turned to a known skeptic of Agent Orange’s deadly effects – a scientist who has also been paid by the chemical makers. And they obtained internal VA data on hundreds of thousands of vets and conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis, producing new evidence suggesting a connection between Agent Orange and birth defects that experts say should force the government to take action. https://www.propublica.org/article/agent-orange-vietnam-veterans-their-families-share-stories-exposure https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/alvin-young
  • Sea Level Rise

    The Bay Area's current waterfront building frenzy includes at least $21 billion in housing and commercial construction in low-lying areas that climate scientists say could flood by the end of the century. In examining approval processes for new buildings on the edge of San Francisco Bay, our team found that some cities are greenlighting waterfront development without planning for the long term or fully accounting for the future costs of reconfiguring large projects to resist flooding.
  • Exxon: The Road Not Taken

    Our investigation reveals an early, little-known chapter in Exxon's history, when the company conducted rigorous climate change research from the late 1970s to mid-1980s. Not only did Exxon accept the reality of global warming, its scientists and executives recognized the risk global warming posed to the planet and to its core business. This posture toward climate change contrasts sharply with the company's role as a leader, funder and architect of climate disinformation in subsequent decades.
  • Something In The Water

    For years, the state of Texas has said there is no link between water contamination and natural gas drilling. WFAA’s “Something In The Water” series has made it difficult for the state to maintain that stance. Our series, which is still ongoing in 2016, focuses on how a fireball erupted from a rural family’s water well in the Barnett Shale natural gas field. Our investigation found gas drillers not properly cementing their wells to protect underground water, and fudging permitting paperwork with state regulators. Our stories have prompted a board of top EPA scientists to now question whether drilling is linked to contamination. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151843222/9cb971b521
  • Earthquakes

    Oklahoma's scientists had suspected for years that the earthquake swarms afflicting the state were caused by oil and gas operations. But they didn't alert the public. Mike Soraghan figured out why. In his investigation of the earthquakes for EnergyWire, he found that the Oklahoma Geological Survey bent to industry influence and official denial. That allowed complacent state officials to ignore the problem and avoid confronting a powerful industry.
  • Surviving the Drought: We Investigate California’s Water Crisis

    We investigated California's drought to find out why a state that leads the world in innovation, technology, science and progressive policy can't seem to figure out how to solve a water crisis when other countries around the world can. We asked a simple question: if other countries can do it why can't California? And our months of investigation and interviews with more than 75 scientists, policy makers, innovators, designers, engineers and venture capitalists revealed that the problem of record drought in California isn't as much about lack of rain and snow but about lack of vision and stalemate because of entrenched and intractable policy and history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwT_GMRuEik http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Surviving-the-Drought-Investigate-California-Water-Crisis-338921102.html
  • 'Climate Change' Ban

    In Florida, state employees and scientists aren’t allowed to use the term “climate change” and “global warming.” This outrageous fact, revealed by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting in 2015, underpins a probing series of government accountability stories we believe are worthy of your consideration.