Grant #138

Clear The Air

April 27, 2015

The secret to combatting air pollution? Publicizing and analyzing data where it’s needed most.

When Federico (Ico) San Martini, Christa Hasenkopf, and David Roberts read the 2014 report released by WHO, they were astounded to find that while 1 in 8 deaths world-wide is due to air pollution, the intersection of air quality and health is a field lacking in data, especially in the most polluted places in the world. Inspired by the The U.S. Embassy in Beijing deciding to measure and tweet air pollution data in 2008 from a rooftop monitor, and the impact of this real-time, transparent data, they decided to conduct the firstever analysis of the historical record in five cities.

Since then, they’ve had a paper accepted for publication at Atmospheric Environment, here’s the accepted article. And their co-author published a related article in Wired Magazine. The three researchers continue to work on this important analysis under the belief that their study highlights “the novel existence and potential uses of air quality data that is currently systematically being collected and made publicly accessible by U.S. embassies in polluted but under-studied locations.”

Our grantees will use the allotted funds to publish the paper in an open access way. They believe it is critical to make this article freely available to those working in developing countries and public, and we agree!

To continue following the work of San Martini, Hasenkopf, and Roberts you can follow David and Christa on LinkedIn.


Category: Environment, Health



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders