Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Mon, 02/05/2018News from the World Conference of Science Journalists 2017, the final report of NASW's ad hoc membership committee, what famous writers of the past have said about taxes, and AAAS launches a a new service to provide scientific expertise and context on deadline. Full text visible only to NASW members.
In the summer of 2015, while standing in her kitchen, Rachel Pezzani heard her 11-year-old daughter Natalie scream from another room. Natalie Pezzani Pezzani raced to her, scared that Natalie’s wearable “LifeVest” defibrillator was about to go off. Natalie, still recovering from recent emergency heart surgery related to a birth defect, was... more
Science Storytellers   What happens if you ask a child, “Hey, do you want to talk to a scientist?” That question drove science writer Jenny Cutraro to develop Science Storytellers, a public engagement program that aims to sit children down to interview scientists, just like professional journalists do—and then to share their science stories.... more
It’s quite a presumptuous leap to translate this study, “Ibuprofen is deleterious for the development of first trimester human fetal ovary ex vivo,” into this headline from the U.S. edition of The Guardian, “Ibuprofen taken in early pregnancy could affect daughter’s fertility – study.” No. This headline–... more
You’ll often hear us warn about the injudicious use of anecdote in conveying health care information. It’s a real problem. But there is judicious use. There is personal story that illuminates — but doesn’t substitute for — medical information. And when it’s done well — as it is in many of this week’s... more
  ProPublica reporter Marshall Allen opens his article about a Washington State report on unnecessary medical care like this: It’s one of the intractable financial boondoggles of the U.S. health care system: Lots and lots of patients get lots and lots of tests and procedures they don’t need. The authors from the Washington Health... more
A newly published animated map shows how an unregulated industry of stem cell clinics developed in less than a decade, growing from zero businesses in 2008 to nearly 600 in 2016. The map was created by UC Davis stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, PhD, and University of Minnesota bioethicist Leigh Turner, PhD, who first documented the... more
Earlier this week, The New York Times introduced the American public to a potential new heart disease risk factor involving mutated stem cells, known as “CHIP” (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential). The enthusiastic story by journalist Gina Kolata makes for a fascinating read about some fascinating science. The gist is that... more
It’s almost here: Super Bowl weekend. The big game, the big TV ads, the big halftime show, the big bowls of chips and salsa … and the big hits. Dramatic hits that make some of us cheer, make others cringe, and make some players retire. A recent paper in the BMJ’s Injury Prevention journal raises questions about the National... more