This week, we’re sharing stories from Gus Garcia-Roberts and David Heath, Melissa Gira Grant, David Owen, Geoffrey Himes, and Traci Brimhall.

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1. Luck, Foresight and Science: How an Unheralded Team Developed a COVID-19 Vaccine in Record Time

Gus Garcia-Roberts, David Heath | USA Today | January 26, 2021 | 35 minutes (8,808 words)

Credit for the COVID-19 vaccine “belongs to a series of uncelebrated discoveries dating back at least 15 years – and a constellation of unsung scientists.”

2. QAnon and the Cultification of the American Right

Melissa Gira Grant | The New Republic | February 1, 2021 | 24 minutes (6,170 words)

“The conspiracy theory has become a theology of right-wing rebellion.”

3. How a Young Activist Is Helping Pope Francis Battle Climate Change

David Owen | The New Yorker | February 1, 2021 | 27 minutes (6,802 words)

“Molly Burhans wants the Catholic Church to put its assets—which include farms, forests, oil wells, and millions of acres of land—to better use. But, first, she has to map them.”

4. The Poet Laureate of New Orleans

Geoffrey Himes | The Bitter Southerner | Febuary 2, 2021 | 33 minutes (8,266 words)

“Earl King’s lyrical blues and electric stage presence set him apart. But he’s never been properly honored as a Louisiana writer who penned songs for Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimi Hendrix. New Orleans doesn’t have a poet laureate, may we suggest this posthumous honor for the King?”

5. The Grief Artist

Traci Brimhall | Guernica | January 6, 2021 | 20 minutes (5,018 words)

“In the wake of a loss comes the urge to create.”