Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Reader’s Digest proudly touts itself as one of the most trusted media brands. But can its more than 3 million subscribers – and 19.3 million readers – trust its recommendations about which screening tests they need as they move through the decades of their lives? There are a number of recommendations made in its recent advice article “Doctor... more
If you’re one of our regular readers I’ll bet your ears echo from hearing us bang these drums over and over: When OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES find an association between two things it does NOT mean one thing CAUSED the other thing to happen. The gold standard of evidence-based medicine is confirming or refuting findings via multiple... more
In Weather: An Illustrated History: From Cloud Atlases to Climate Change, NASW member Andrew Revkin, and Lisa Mechaley provide one-page summaries of meteorological milestones. They report, for example, how clouds were classified and named, how reliable The Farmer’s Almanac is, how global warming harms coral reefs, what a “nuclear winter” would... more
Last week we introduced our new ongoing series looking at problematic PR releases, surfacing trends in news releases that discuss health care interventions. We found, for example, that news releases sometimes fail to include the most basic data findings from the research they’re promoting, leaving it to journalists to sift through (often... more
This edition of Headline vs. Study focuses on two recurrent problems we see in both news stories and news releases. First, the prevailing assumptions that either new technology (like using stem cells for a common knee ailment), or more technology (like combining two heart scan techniques) are automatically superior to the existing approach.... more
Expose • (verb) / ikˈspōz/ • Make (something) visible, typically by uncovering it • “At low tide the sands are exposed” • Synonyms: reveal, uncover, lay bare. Undoubtedly, one of the most important roles journalism plays in society is to expose. The articles we feature below are great examples of this, and we give the reporters 5 stars... more
Registration for ScienceWriters2018, happening in Washington D.C. Oct. 12-16, is now open at sciencewriters2018.org. Register and make your travel plans early to secure the best discounts and choices. Multiple travel fellowships are available. Article type: ScienceWriters meeting
We’ve been closely tracking healthcare-related news releases for several years now, systematically reviewing more than 550 using our 10 criteria. We can’t get to every news release we see–the churn is vast. That’s why we’re starting a new ongoing blog series, problematic PR releases, looking at some of the big-picture... more

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