Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Amy Maxmen is a senior reporter at Nature, based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @amymaxmen and Instagram @amaxmen. A selection of her stories on Ebola, evolution, machine learning, and much more are at   Courtesy of Amy MaxmenAmy Maxmen What I’m working on: Right now I’m working on two stories I reported... more
Courtesy of Morgan HeimMorgan Heim In 2012, photojournalist and filmmaker Morgan Heim came across a study in PLOS One about Pacific fishers—house cat–sized carnivores that live in old-growth forests in the mountains of Northern California—being exposed to rat poison in a place where they shouldn’t be: our national parks and forests. One of the... more
Illustration by Helen Fields   Welcome, ladies and gentlepeeps, to The World’s Finest (and Only … As Far as We Know) Science-Themed Peeps Diorama Contest! It’s time for science communication to meet sugary confection, for innovators in medicine to be immortalized in gelatin, for the thrill of discovery to be depicted all marshmallowy—it’s... more
As all researchers know, science is a grinding parade of failure and dead ends. But as we’ve often written, news release writers sometimes seem hell-bent on making the public believe otherwise. Like expert makeup artists, they can add sparkle to lackluster findings, mask blemishes in study designs, and smooth over unimpressive data. One... more
Dec. 14th’s lower court ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional has again thrust health care back on the national agenda. It also gives journalists a chance to redeem themselves from what I have argued has been poor news coverage that helped fuel the public backlash against the law from the beginning. A lot has changed since... more
In 2005, as I began building, I got permission from Dr. David Henry of the Media Doctor Australia project to adopt their news story review criteria. In the ensuing 13 years, no one has ever placed in front of me a solid, specific suggestion for a better set of criteria for reviewing stories about health care interventions.... more
In 2015, a few months before I started working at, Cosmopolitan magazine published my article, “Why are so many American women dying in childbirth?” Tired of women getting blamed for the problem, I used my personal story to explore the fissures in U.S. maternal health care: At the hospital where I gave birth, and in my... more
Courtney Humphries’ story about the effect of developed areas on trees won an award given by the American Geophysical Union in 2017. Humphries is a freelance journalist and author who writes about science, health, nature, and the built environment. The woods at the Mass Audubon Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont, Massachusetts—a well-... more
Ashley Smart is the associate director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and a senior editor at Undark magazine. He joined KSJ in 2018, after eight years as an editor at Physics Today. He is a member of the advisory board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and a co-chair of the National Association of Science... more
The Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus will host a journalism “residency.” Craving a trip to Florida in February? If you’re a journalist, the Mayo Clinic has you covered. Once again Mayo is extending an offer to educate health care journalists, this time with what it’s calling a “residency” scheduled for... more