Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Lost in the Beltway media morass of the GOP health plan and Trump Jr. is the fate of a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that offers a pathway for Medicare to control its costs. It’s the Independent Payment Advisory Board, IPAB for short, set up by Congress as an independent body that could make expert recommendations about... more
Lizzie Wade is a freelance science journalist and a contributing correspondent for Science, where she covers archaeology, anthropology, and all things Latin America. She has lived in Mexico City for the last four years. Her writing has also appeared in Aeon, California Sunday, The Atlantic, Archaeology, and Wired, among others. She studied... more
The Mayo Clinic is deploying a new tactic to influence journalists: An all-expenses-paid residency program. The clinic’s Facebook post about the residency. Last week the health system invited reporters to apply for a five-day fellowship at its Rochester, Minn., campus entitled “Mayo Foundation Journalist Residency: Behind the Scenes in... more
Medicine as science. Medicine as theater. The former connotes certitude and rigor. The latter more nuance and drama. For those of us who practice medicine, or turn to it for help, or write about it, we realize it’s all these things. This spectrum is what makes it both delightfully compelling and frustratingly complex. This week features... more
INVENTING THE DOG, CANIS FAMILIARIS It once seemed as if the dog was a triumphant early human invention, our first domesticated animal many thousands of years ago, a deliberate product of ancient... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
I was in the waiting room of a medical office last week when I noticed this teaser on the cover of an old beauty magazine: “Acne vaccine?” I flipped through the April 2016 issue of Allure to find a short blurb about a University of California, San Diego, researcher who “has been working on two different acne-targeted vaccines in partnership with... more
Paul Knoepfler PhD is “disturbed and concerned.” Here’s why. Knoepfler is a stem cell researcher and professor at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine. Over the past couple of years he has noticed more and more big budget ads for unproven stem cell therapies showing up in major American newspapers, such as these... more
Courtesy of Rosie ChometThe Depression Monster, by Rosie Chomet.   To be a science writer—to generate creative ideas, meet deadlines, and turn around timely revisions—you have to have a routine. Mine starts with a dose of citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that sometimes makes me nauseated but otherwise keeps me healthy. For... more
A couple of recent headlines dealing with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) caught our attention: “Acupuncture may be effective painkiller in the ER” — HealthDay News “New study shows promise of yoga in treating back pain” — When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When we... more
If anyone ever says that he or she can’t find an industry-independent expert for a news story or for an FDA committee, they just haven’t looked hard enough. For 9 years, we have hosted what is, to the best of our knowledge, a one-of-a-kind list of health care industry-independent experts. Now that list has been revised, with new names... more