Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Slack and similar collaboration tools are growing in popularity, but journalists and their organizations should think twice about using them for sensitive work, because they're vulnerable to both hackers and litigants, Quinn Norton warns: "Don’t ever say anything on Slack you don’t want read aloud in front of a 72-year-old Alabama judge in federal... more
The Storygram series, in which professional writers annotate award-winning stories to illuminate what makes a great science story great, is a joint project of The Open Notebook and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. It is supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.  Natalie Wolchover is a physics writer based... more
One of the most important tenets of strong journalism is independent sourcing. The inclusion of outside sources is part of what separates real news from PR news releases. That’s why, when a news release with the boastful headline “New breast screening method to save thousands of women from cancer” hit my in-box, I quickly scanned it to see... more
Béatrice de Géa. (Originally published in Quanta. Reprinted with permission from Quanta.)   The following story diagram—or Storygram—annotates an award-winning story to shed light on what makes some of the best science writing so outstanding. The Storygram series is a joint project of The Open Notebook and the Council for the Advancement of... more
A Harvard geneticist announced that he is going to produce elephant embryos with mammoth genes, and more than 60 news stories had headlines like "Woolly mammoths to walk the Earth again." John Hawks says that more than just exaggeration was involved: "Journalists who actually dug into these numbers would have to cover this story very differently.... more
Tom McNichol interviews Ron Rosenbaum about his 1971 Esquire story on an early network of hackers who built "blue boxes" to make free phone calls: "Rosenbaum’s article is the rare magazine story that not only chronicled history, it also shaped it. A tech enthusiast named Steve Wozniak read Rosenbaum’s piece, and then showed it to his friend Steve... more
About those seven Earthlike planets orbiting a nearby star: They're neither nearby nor especially Earthlike, Tabitha M. Powledge writes: "Not to denigrate the scientific achievement, which is noteworthy for its novelty and sophistication … But let’s bring a little reality to the boisterous celebration attending the revelation that astronomers have... more
If you thought Excel and similar spreadsheet managers were just tools for sorting data and doing simple arithmetic, you might learn something from this tutorial by John Wihbey and Leighton Walter Kille, who show how to get more advanced statistics like standard deviations and confidence intervals: "Quick calculations are handy, and can help you in... more
In 1945–a year when good news was clearly needed–Byron Nelson wowed and delighted by winning 11 consecutive golf tournaments. It’s the longest winning streak in professional golf. No one has come close since. This past month (a month, you could argue, that good health care news was sorely needed) I’ve been wowed and... more
HUZZAH! SEVEN “NEARBY” “HABITABLE” PLANETS! Not to denigrate the scientific achievement, which is noteworthy for its novelty and sophistication. Not to denigrate (much) the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]