Exploring the Crossroads of Academic Writing and Science Journalism

June 22, 2023

After one year at the University of Vienna studying history, Franziska Marhold, came to CEU to expand her studies to include the intersection of multiple subjects. Marhold, a Presidential Scholarship recipient who is deeply involved in climate activism, chose to focus on politics and philosophy within the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) program. 

Taking philosophy courses at CEU changed how Marhold thought about the subject and its relevance to her life. She laughed as she noted that she used to think of philosophy as “reading about what old men in Greece said.”  

I had these courses in philosophy at CEU and realized it's a lot more about reasoning and finding logical answers to a range of problems,” Marhold said. I think the course, Critical Reasoning, really helped, and I like the way that philosophy taught me how to think - that was a really shaping moment for me. Marhold has lived in Vienna since she was 10 years old. Despite many years in the city, Marhold highlighted that her experience of Vienna in the past three years at CEU has offered the experience of being in an international community. 

During her studies, Marhold worked for a newspaper writing about environmental politics in Austria. For three summers she worked there full-time, and once a week during the academic year. This was an important experience, she recalls, for cultivating skills across different types of writing. 

“Journalism is fast paced. You produce things and they come out on the same day. Academic writing is a lot more thorough and time-consuming theoretical research,” she said, adding, “I realized through doing both that I really like science journalism and I think this might be a route for me in the future.”  

During her time at CEU, Marhold expressed that she really learned how to research, not only when it comes to academic work, but also in terms of understanding more generally different perspectives and complexities of a topic. “I really think that philosophy teaches you a way to think about things logically, and you can incorporate that into recognizing fake news, for example, where there are inconsistencies that aren't logical; or more easily recognize inconsistencies when listening to politicians speaking,” she said. 

From August, Marhold will do a one-year traineeship at Vienna’s Ministry of Climate Action, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. She plans to follow the experience with graduate studies related to environmental politics.  

Her advice to incoming students? “Really get to know the people that you study with and spend time with them. They'll be there after you graduate.”