Alex Jackson

UK-based journalist and digital editor. Writes about science, the environment, health and technology, and human interest stories from across the globe. With occasional music writing thrown in for good measure. 

Contributed to The Guardian, Nature, Scientific American, BBC, Japan Times, Mail & Guardian, Yorkshire Post, Geographical Magazine and Huffington Post.

The young female climate activists driving change in Asia

For Asia, where more countries are facing greater environmental risks than in other parts of the globe, climate change is an imminent issue that could threaten the lives of people through natural disasters, displacement from homes and shortages of natural resources. According to an environmental risk assessment published in May, Asia is home to 99 of the world’s 100 most vulnerable cities. The report found 80% of these are in India or China, while Jakarta was named the city most vulnerable to e

The Japanese scientist fighting prejudice, misinformation and COVID-19

“It feels like I’ve lived a decade within one year,” Akiko Iwasaki says. “The pandemic has definitely changed the way we do science.” In the midst of a global health crisis, the professor of immunology at Yale University has been a trusted voice of reason. Iwasaki has become known for breaking down complex science to deliver accessible messages to the public and the media, dispelling myths and publishing leading research on SARS-CoV-2. The Iwasaki lab, which the Japanese-born scientist set up

Five pioneering Asian scientists to look out for this year

From leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to tackling climate change, scientists today are at the forefront of important discoveries, technologies and solutions for everyday life, helping humans understand the great mysteries of the universe. And the global health crisis was the latest reminder that development in science has huge societal and economic impacts and contributes to humanity’s progress. A notable trend over the past decade has been the growth of research and development i

In wake of Japan disaster, scientists aim for faster and more accurate tsunami warnings

In the 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, scientists have sought answers to a variety of questions relating to the deadly tsunami that began tearing through coastal communities just 15 minutes after the quake. Researchers have probed how a tsunami gathers height as it nears a shoreline and how this affects the damage it can cause. They’ve also begun to assess technologies for the early detection of tsunamis and improving tsunami observing systems acros

Blind Japanese inventor harnessing technology to improve lives of visually impaired

Dr. Chieko Asakawa’s life motto: Make the impossible possible — by never giving up. Blind since the age of 14, Asakawa has dedicated the past three decades to researching and developing new technologies to help transform the lives of the visually impaired. Asakawa’s inventions have impacted millions worldwide, and now one of them will receive one of the ultimate in industry accolades. The Osaka-born computer scientist, who lives in the United States, is among 19 innovators who will be inducted

Japanese winner of L'Oreal-UNESCO award for female scientists looks to reshape materials research

From a young age, Dr. Yukiko Ogawa knew she wanted to become a scientist. Growing up in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, she would spend hours after school creating objects in her bedroom. It was this curiosity and early ingenuity when it came to designing novel things that led Ogawa to where she is today. “Materials science is the foundation of modern society,” Ogawa said from her research base at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, one of Japan’s largest scie

Tokyo researchers’ Paper Digest makes academic jargon a cinch

They come from very different worlds, yet have remarkably similar tales to tell. One hails from Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, while the other was brought up in the shadows of the Merendon mountains in the Sula Valley of northwestern Honduras. Bonding over a “love of good coffee and jazz,” Yasutomo Takano and Cristian Mejia have come a long way since they first met four years ago while studying bibliometrics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Back then they were both enthusiastic students with