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"What happens when you share your passion for science and nature with the world?"



Hi, my name is Elizabeth. I first met science writer Curtis Abraham when we were teens at a summer job at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Now based in East Africa, his passion for science and exploration has not diminished in the least. If anything, it has only blossomed. I started this fundraiser because Curtis recently launched www.discoverscience2020.com, an online science and environment blog site that he envisions will become an online magazine someday.

An independent soul, he tried to finance the project from what money he was earning from freelance writing, but that strategy proved challenging even at the best of times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, his freelance work dried up and the current global economic crisis has made Curtis’s strategy a mission impossible. The project would have started sooner if it were not for the sudden death of Anna Logiel from brain cancer on Valentine’s Day in 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Anna is the mother of Curtis’s daughter Diana and was a Ugandan Member of Parliament.

Yes, there are dozens of science and nature magazines, blogs, and websites, but Curtis highlights and celebrates the contributions of scientists of color, prominent women researchers, indigenous First Nations conservationists, human rights activists, and other scientists writing about issues concerning the developing world. This has been his focus in the pages of New Scientist magazine and other publications, predating the Black Lives Matter and Me-Too movements.

The idea for the site, Curtis says, had been in the back of his mind for several years but the anti-science milieu that arose in the U.S. gave it an added urgency. The name of the website, “Discover Science 2020,” acknowledges that pivotal year for science and humanity - and the hope for a clearer “20/20 vision” moving forward. The website informs and opens conversations about salient issues such as the nexus between racism and science, science and development in the global south, climate justice, and breaking the stigmas of mental health and dis/ability, to name a few.

Please take the time and have a look. You will see that Curtis’ vision is to be all-inclusive, which he easily achieves because of his natural curiosity and commitment to diversity. There are stories about San ‘Bushmen’ and indigenous knowledge/intellectual property rights; an award-winning female environmentalist from Sikkim who preaches and practices faith-based conservation; the daughter and son-in-law of a Hollywood legend who talk about their work with mountain gorillas in central Africa (and a movie classic that warms America’s heart every Christmas holiday season); and a Washington DC-based anthropologist whose book focuses on the historical concept of stigma and his grandfather’s time as a patient of Sigmund Freud.

Apart from science journalism, Curtis is also planning various projects connected to discoverscience2020.com. These initiatives focus on science education and young people, environmental protection and conservation worldwide, and research with the cooperation of a diverse group of scientists and practitioners. One of the first independent investigations planned is examining the ecological health of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake is plagued by industrial and domestic pollution, invasive species, overfishing, and contamination with toxic heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial organisms that are lethal to humans and other fauna and flora. The results of these investigations will be published on thediscoverscience2020 website.

Curtis is no stranger to self-funded research. Earlier in his career, where he survived several incidents of road banditry, armed cattle raids, and bouts of drug-resistant malaria in northeast Uganda, he helped expose the truth behind Colin Turnbull’s bestselling and controversial The Mountain People (1972). The story was widely publicized in the pages of U.K. magazines such as New Scientist (https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15721234-700-land-of-the-loveless) and New African. It also became the topic of a BBC Radio 4 The Afternoon Shift program. Later still, Curtis’s revelations were discussed in the official biography of Colin M. Turnbull, In the Arms of Africa. In 1997, he would also expose how some Western researchers had breached protocol by exporting rare hominid fossils from Uganda to the United States (https://allafrica.com/stories/199709250065.html ). More recently, he brought to light the biodiversity crisis in the southern African nation of Namibia (https://www.discoverscience2020.com/post/environmental-violence).

Curtis has also written for several other publications including The Ecologist, BBC Wildlife Magazine, and The Geographical (of the UK Royal Geographical Society), and was a consultant and field assistant to the late David Pluth, a National Geographic Society photographer.

As an educator, I find Discover Science 2020 an invaluable resource and Curtis is working hard to help this project continue to grow. He seeks support for two years to cover the cost of transitioning the website into a professional online publication. Funding would cover website publishing and maintenance and allow Curtis to hire college students in Nairobi to work on web design/web maintenance, marketing, and research. Providing his staff and researchers with refurbished laptops or tablets will be necessary, as well as second-hand books for continuing research on science, nature, history, biography, philosophy, political science, and current affairs. Finally, there are also telecommunication costs and electricity expenses to cover. With nearly zero resources, the website is impressive, and he just needs a small amount of funding to develop it into a professional online publication … which takes me back to our riddle:

What happens when you share your passion for science with the world?

Answer: With your help, some great things!


Thanks for taking the time to read our pitch!


Photo of Curtis (on right) receiving his certificate for climbing the Rwenzori Mountains
(‘Mountains of the Moon”) at the Border of the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Uganda. He went there to write about the melting of the
mountain’s glaciers.

Photo of Curtis (far right) in Vienna with the late Nazi-hunter and humanist Simon Wiesenthal and the late Alan Levy, Life Magazine journalist. Curtis grew up in New York hearing about the forced sterilization of Afro-Germans and the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. He sought to learn more about this from Wiesenthal.



Here’s a cross-section of Curtis’s science journalism over the years:

SWARA | 20 February 2020

SWARA | 26 July 2019

ENVIRONMENT | COMMENT | 11 December 2019
How International Conservation Groups Are Betraying Indigenous Peoples: “Discrimination towards indigenous communities is rife among conservation groups – and sometimes enforced at the barrel of a gun,” says Curtis Abraham

NEW AFRICAN | LIFE & COMMENT | 21 September 2017

THE ECOLOGIST |22nd August 2017
Special Report: “The Al Hima Revival

NEW SCIENTIST | HEALTH | 6 October 2015

NEW SCIENTIST | EARTH | 15 April 2015
Africa's Parks Must Be Off Limits For Oil And Gas: There Are Better Ways To Help Africa Prosper Than Ripping Up Protected Park Borders In The Hunt For Oil And Gas”

NEW SCIENTIST | LIFE | 17 June 2015

NEW SCIENTIST | HEALTH | 26 February 2014

NEW AFRICAN |18 July 2014

NEW AFRICAN | 28 January 2014

NEW SCIENTIST| COMMENT 30 December 2014

NEW SCIENTIST| 28 January 2013

NEW SCIENTIST | LIFE | 3 August 2011

LIFE | 27 January 2010

TECHNOLOGY | 6 August 2008




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ELIZABETH BEAUBRUN
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New York, NY

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