Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Courtesy of Adriana GallardoAdriana Gallardo Every year, about 700 to 900 American women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. And for every death, dozens more suffer life-threatening complications. It’s a shockingly high toll of maternal harm for a developed nation with wealth and resources. In fact, the maternal mortality rate in... more
BMJ’s public relations team is at it again: putting overstated headlines on news releases about observational nutrition research that can’t support the claims. This time it was on a Chinese study, published in the journal BMJ Heart, purporting to show that “Daily egg consumption may reduce cardiovascular disease.” They even quantified the exact... more
Among the thousands of research abstracts released to the public on Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), just six were selected to be highlighted in a news conference with journalists. Of those six, one was an analysis showing only about 2% of heavy smokers are screened for lung cancer despite a recommendation from the... more
Media coverage of the 2017 tax law focused mainly on the creation of lower tax brackets. Receiving scant coverage were significant changes to the deductions for fees paid for preparation of returns and advice on tax planning. Article type: ScienceWriters magazineArticle topic: Science writing news
An image from a U.S. News story on “12 Things to Know Before Your First Mammogram.” While more doctors embrace the idea that women should make their own informed decisions about when and how often to get screened for breast cancer, news reporting doesn’t always reflect that nuanced approach. Take a recent U.S. News feature... more
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, launched in 2007 with $3 billion in public funding, has generated 42 therapies now in clinical trials for a variety of incurable diseases. Don Reed, a science writer and advocate for stem cell research, describes the program’s successes in California Cures: How the California Stem Cell Program is... more
Later today the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will hold a virtual “presscast” giving journalists a sneak preview into a handful of “new, high-impact studies” that will be presented at their annual meeting two weeks from now. Just six out of 2,500 abstracts were selected for the preview. “Many medical... more
Ed Tobias was diagnosed with MS in 1980. For multiple sclerosis patients today, it’s a challenge to keep tabs on all the drug development underway without falling prey to misinformation, explains retired broadcast journalist and MS patient Ed Tobias. “These days, there are so many more treatments to provide a better quality of life than when... more
Alan Berner, The Seattle TimesJacqui Banaszynski Jacqui Banaszynski spent a month reporting from Sudan on the Ethiopian famine for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch in 1985. After she filed her story, her editor, Deborah Howell, stood waiting for a dot-matrix printer to spit out the 24,000-word piece. Howell then dragged the draft across the... more
How likely are you to believe one of the following: That a study in fish might hold the key to preventing Parkinson’s? That a study in rabbits might help us prevent HIV from spreading? A brain scan could pick up mental illness? I’m betting you’re skeptical. And you should be. But get this: all three of these textbook examples... more