Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

On November 8, MedPage Today, one of the nation’s most widely read physician news sites, published a scathing critique of insurance industry functionaries headlined “Who is actually reviewing all those pre-authorization requests?” The post was the most popular article on the site for more than a week. While many readers praised the piece for... more
Let’s cut to the chase. Thank you for coming to our site and reading what we offer. We are grateful for our readers, what we learn from other health care journalists, and for those whose passion is delivering care to those in need. We hope you enjoy this long holiday weekend, and thought you might enjoy reading some of the excellent articles... more
There it was again: Another article touting “simple blood tests” together with an alarming headline about Alzheimer’s disease “coming for you.” I thought I’d missed something in the research news but no, an article in the Nov. 17 Sunday Review of The New York Times focused on ApoE4, a protein in the blood, discovered to be a risk factor for... more
The Grand Canyon in Arizona occupies about triple the area of the world’s ten smallest countries. Land used for farmland worldwide would fill an area about 10,000 times that of the Grand Canyon. In Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe, Kimberly Arcand and NASW member Megan Watzke show how scientists reliably distinguish large from small, fast from... more
Last week’s big health news was a study on two medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder. Published in The Lancet, the study compared the monthly injectable treatment Vivitrol (naltrexone) to a dissolvable oral strip called Suboxone (buprenorphine). Depending on which news headline you came across, your main takeaway about the study... more
Blood pressure, dietary salt, and how genes influence human biology are among the most frequently reported health-related topics in the media. In the last couple of weeks the new and lower blood pressure guidelines have been widely publicized and critically analyzed; salt is always in the news; and there is no shortage of stories about genes that... more
When you see an outpouring of loving obituaries, as we saw this week after the death of Princeton health care economist Uwe Reinhardt, you know we have lost someone special. A German by birth, Reinhardt consistently forced Americans to look in the mirror and answer his questions, “What kind of people do you want to be when it comes to health... more
About half the editors at the most prestigious medical journals in the U.S. receive payments from the pharmaceutical or medical device industries. But only 30 percent of these journals make it clear to readers what their policies are regarding such conflicts of interest. Those are the findings of a Canadian study published last month in the BMJ.... more
Science writer Brian Vastag is taking part in an intense experiment aimed at finding out if and how an infection may have disrupted his nervous system, leaving him with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS. Article type: ScienceWriters magazineArticle topic: Science writing news
It’s a television journalism staple: the first-person experience. These pieces are conceived with good intentions, but they can lead viewers to misguided, costly, and potentially dangerous thinking. A journalist at WCCO, Minneapolis’s CBS affiliate, recently put himself through a battery of tests ostensibly to test his heart health. The set... more