I’m Ashley Belanger, an investigative science journalist from Florida, now based in Maine. Recently, I’ve been avoiding the pandemic by wandering the woods near the Canada border.
In my reporting, I’m most interested in tracking how science informs social policies. Most recently, I was awarded a fellowship from Knight Science Journalism to conduct a 9-month investigation through spring 2021, looking into major issues with release from U.S. civil commitment facilities.
I got started doing youth advocacy reporting for Teen Vogue, including Wedlocked a 5-part series on child marriage in the U.S. Then I joined MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing to expand my reporting skills. While there, I received an Honorable Mention for the Obermayer Prize for Graduate Student Writing for a piece on the ethics of experimenting on human subjects. In spring, my investigative reporting on pandemic conditions at Florida domestic violence centers was funded by the National Geographic Society.
In summer 2020, I was an intern for the WGBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, where I got to contribute to investigations for outlets like The Boston Globe and Frontline. I have served as contributing writer and research assistant for Undark Magazine, Knight Science Journalism, Gastropod, and MIT News. Before that, I served as associate editor for Orlando Weekly. While there, my writing was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.
View my resume here.
I earned a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida and have written for Teen Vogue, Knight Science Journalism, Ars Technica, The Gainesville Sun, Orlando Weekly, Metro Times, Burrow Press’ Fantastic Floridas, and more. I’m also proud to have contributed to this incredibly rich, first-ever biography of Curtis Mayfield and this biography about peerless Jazz musician Arthur Briggs, both by author Travis Atria. In 2019, I kicked off research for my first biography.
In my free time, I experiment with writing structure in independent zines, seek out new hiking spots to photograph, mimic textures I see through hand-stitched embroidery, and revisit pop history somewhat obsessively.