Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

As a new line of hip implants was about to be launched in 2000, a stunning email went out from the manufacturer’s marketing department. It described a “clinical research strategy” to pay orthopedic surgeons $400 for each patient they enrolled in a company-sponsored trial. Images excerpted from marketing materials promoting the... more
A study about concussions and the risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is generating national headlines: USA Today: New Boston University study links repetitive hits to head, not concussions, to CTE Washington Post: A new study shows that hits to the head, not concussions, cause CTE  TIME: Repeated Hits to the Head — Not Concussions —... more
Talk of the widespread and dangerous flu circulating this year has the public on edge and hungry for quality information about how to protect themselves. ABC’s “Good Morning America” isn’t helping with this segment featuring Chief Medical Correspondent Jennifer Ashton, MD, titled “3 complementary natural remedies for... more
Conner Jay/AAJA; Tailyr IrvineAneri Pattani and Olga Kreimer, the newest TON/BWF early-career fellows.   The Open Notebook is excited to introduce the latest recipients of our fellowship for early-career science journalists, made possible by a generous grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. We received a large number of excellent... more
Benjamin Mazer, MD When I started working in primary care clinics in medical school, I met many outstanding physicians. I met one physician, however, who would cause me unexpected heartbreak and anger. Mehmet Oz, MD – the celebrity television doctor – was introduced to me by my patients, who revered him. It was a peculiar, surreal experience the... more
Tran Mau Tri Tam/Unsplash   While many traditional print publications struggle to stay afloat, new all-digital science magazines are launching, and some online outlets are expanding their health and science desks. These outlets are bringing stories about science to new audiences and broadening markets for freelancers and for journalists... more
The New York Times “Well” section is once again … unwell.   Before exercises (left) • At 8 weeks (center) • After 20 weeks (right) | Northwestern University This time, it’s an article titled “Facial Exercises May Make You Look 3 Years Younger,” which employs a clickbait headline and the veneer of scientific... more
Getty Images Good journalism, like good medical research, often begins with a clear and simple question. Followed by clear and simple writing. The articles our staff chose to highlight this week are good examples of this. Can less be more? Why do some of our most vulnerable lack good care … or a good place to live? When does screening hurt... more
The current media landscape is a confusing swirl of reality, misinformation, and so-called fake news. How can science communicators navigate a political climate that's increasingly hostile to both science and journalism? Experts from several related disciplines addressed the situation at a day-long conference hosted by the Rockefeller University.... more
Getty images At least 10 news organizations rushed this week to cover a study asserting that the widely used painkiller ibuprofen might cause male infertility. Among them: CNN: Ibuprofen linked to male infertility, study says USA Today: Ibuprofen use linked to male infertility, study finds HealthDay/CBS News: Small study links ibuprofen with male... more