Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Results of a much-anticipated trial on fish oil and vitamin D generated conflicting headlines last weekend. Some stories declared good news about the popular supplements.. Reuters wrote that fish oil “can dramatically reduce the odds of a heart attack while vitamin D’s benefits seem to come from lowering the risk of death from cancer.... more
The Brain Tumor Foundation’s Road to Early Detection is in Brooklyn, New York, this week, offering free brain tumor screening in its mobile MRI unit to anyone who signs up. The flyer for free MRI brain scans in Brooklyn The visit appears to be the foundation’s second stop on its current “sponsor-a-city” campaign. Earlier this... more
Megha Satyanarayana worked at several newspapers and an online news startup before landing at Chemical & Engineering News. She has covered suburban crime, public health, science and technology, and much more. She also knows a bit about audience engagement and multimedia reporting, and is happy to have landed back in Texas, where sentences... more
Over the years, I have loved it when health care journalists send us tips. One recently wrote, “Have you all seen this BS? Some uneducated/informed friends are posting this on Facebook.” The BS she was referring to was our headline above, which appeared in the first sentence of a news story by WV News: The Independent Voice of West... more
Various advocacy interests have proclaimed November as the national (or global) awareness month for stomach cancer, osteoporosis, pancreatic cancer, prematurity, lung cancer, bladder health, Alzheimer’s disease, home health, family caregivers, and hospice/palliative care. 3D Animation of C-diff And for the past four years, you’ve also... more
Health care is complex, but so much of its excellence and effectiveness comes from simplicity. Our 5-star selections this week are good examples of this. Our first story features a world leader in cancer who believes in simple and straightforward communication of risk, but challenges the prevailing notion that cancer screening is a “simple... more
The tiny incisions made by wands in laparoscopic surgery were touted as a “breakthrough” for cervical cancer. To understand how minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer became popular before high-quality evidence was available about its outcomes, consider some rah-rah local news coverage. Back in 1995, for example, The Record of... more
Jeffrey Hamilton/Unsplash [Editors’ note: This article was originally published at Nieman Storyboard. It has been slightly modified to reflect TON‘s style.]   Growing up in a family of Chinese immigrant mathematicians and scientists, then ditching my PhD in biology for a career in journalism makes me somewhat of a maverick. But that... more
Wake me when it’s over. There was a lot of misleading information in news stories this week about a study of sleep traits and risk of breast cancer. It was a complex study to decipher, but instead we got simplistic headlines like this one from HealthDay: “Early Birds May Have Lower Breast Cancer Risk.” That story stated: “... more
Tony Bartelme’s series on climate change won an award given by the American Geophysical Union in 2017. Bartelme, a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is a special projects reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. The South Carolina Lowcountry is a land of many edges, some obvious, others hidden. The tides... more