Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

It’s easy to get caught up in words like media, journalism, and news, and forget that what we do — and why we do it — is the joy of telling stories. In health care the topics we cover can run the gamut from the mundane or heavily scientific, to the heart-wrenching and controversial. But they are all ultimately human stories. We... more
The origin of the domestic cat, Felis catus, is radically different from the origin stories of our other domestic animals. All of them are deliberate human creations. Cats appear to have domesticated... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
What a story from USA Today: “Extra virgin olive oil staves off Alzheimer’s, preserves memory, new study shows.” I’m not even sure where to begin on this one. So. Many. Issues. And, unfortunately, USA Today was not the only news outlet to cover this study. Newsweek, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Philadelphia Inquirer all covered it... more
In March, the Rockefeller University launched Seek, a new research magazine with freelance opportunities for science writers (additional info further down). Although the role of a university's research magazine is to promote its research program, Seek aims also to contribute to larger conversations — about the power of biomedicine, the ethical... more
Dear TON readers, The Open Notebook has been around for almost 7 years, and in that time we’ve grown to a point where we have about 10,000 unique users a month, visiting from almost every country in the world. We want to know more about who our readers are and what science writing tools and resources you most value and need, so that we can... more
On average, children in the United States will have had twenty courses of antibiotics by the time they reach adulthood, Emily Monosson reports in Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health. Today’s scientists seek ways to prevent the potentially adverse consequences of wiping out beneficial and/or harmless bacteria... more
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) sparked a social media uproar at its annual conference in San Diego earlier this month when it restricted participants from posting photographs of slide presentations on Twitter: ADA Twitter response to an attendee who posted a photograph from a slide presentation. The response by conference attendees... more
Douglas Starr is codirector of the Science Journalism Program at Boston University and an author specializing in science, health, and criminal justice. He’s written two books and published articles in The New Yorker, Wired, Science, Discover, Smithsonian, The New Republic, and other venues. Follow him on Twitter @douglasstarr. Courtesy of Douglas... more
After decades of scientific squabbles over the role of saturated fat in the development of heart disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) claimed last week to have put the debate behind us in a news release that began this way: “Replacing saturated fats with healthier ones found in some vegetable oils can reduce cholesterol levels and... more
When it was announced that the Mayo Clinic would sponsor the Star Tribune newspaper’s Science & Health section in 2015, I was interviewed about the announcement, and wrote about it. All I could do was speculate at that time about some of the potential pitfalls of the newly-announced arrangement, and speak generically about the problems... more