Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

There are two viral diseases that, if they infect pregnant mothers, can cause birth defects and a range of other health problems for their babies. One disease affects thousands of infants each year in the United States, while the other affects fewer than a hundred. Why has news coverage focused almost exclusively on the less common disease? And... more
The NASW Membership Committee is currently seeking several new members to help expand membership and improve benefits for existing members. Article type: GovernanceArticle topic: NASW news
A number of news stories on Monday linked the flu-related death of a Texas schoolteacher to her reluctance to fill a prescription for a generic version of antiviral drug Tamiflu. They were misleading because there’s no evidence that antiviral medications can prevent an otherwise healthy person from dying of the flu. They’re also... more
Courtesy of Marshall AllenMarshall Allen In 2012, ProPublica reporter Marshall Allen came across a staggering statistic: The U.S. health care system wastes an estimated $765 billion each year. That’s about a quarter of the total amount spent on health care and more than the entire budget of the Department of Defense. The statistic stunned Allen,... more
The National Association of Science Writers established the Excellence in Institutional Writing Award to recognize high-caliber, publicly accessible science writing produced on behalf of an institution or other non-media organization. Entries close April 20. Article type: Grants & awardsArticle topic: NASW news
If only jolts of electricity to my brain could make me less forgetful. If only mice and baby pigs could read; or, at least, learn which oils and infant formulas are good for them. If only headlines — like those we feature below — would stop misleading people. Especially when it comes to common health problems like Alzheimer’s and... more
Blocking the amino acid asparagine in genetically modified mice was linked to slowed breast cancer metastasis, according to a research letter published in the journal Nature. It’s an interesting premise, and one that’s likely worth further study, but as several of our alert Twitter followers pointed out to us, some journalists went... more
When the Zika outbreak swept Brazil in 2015, Brazilian journalists were the first to cover the event. But it can be a challenge for them to place stories like that in U.S. and European publications. Editors and freelance writers were asked about the challenges writers face in working across international boundaries. Article type: ... more
Sunday’s Super Bowl supposedly represented the zenith of professional football: top players, in top form, playing at the top level. Anyone want to give me odds on any of the following news stories — which all showed up in our newsfeed before 9 AM today —  winning some sort of Toilet Bowl for health news? Hey Newsweek! Watch your... more
Anahad O’Connor is a bestselling author and staff reporter for The New York Times. He covers consumer health, writing about topics such as nutrition, chronic disease, obesity, and the food industry. He joined the paper in 2003 and has covered everything from business to politics and culture. His focus since 2011 has been the intersection of food... more

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