Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Mari Helin-Tuominen/Unsplash   Part of sharpening one’s craft as a reporter and writer involves understanding what makes notable nonfiction stories tick. One way to do that is to closely read stories that you’ve admired (or for that matter, stories that have irked you) or that have racked up awards, been included in anthologies, or otherwise... more
In a remarkable example of PR spin, both the American College of Cardiology and Zoll, a medical devicemaker, issued misleading news releases this weekend trumpeting the results of a study examining the LifeVest, a wearable cardiac defibrillator. The LifeVest, which has been in use for nearly two decades, is sometimes prescribed to recent heart... more
Wouldn’t it be great if a safe and readily available plant could help curb opioid addiction? There hasn’t been a lot of research on mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom. That’s the idea being promoted by a group called the American Kratom Association (AKA), which has been campaigning to block a federal ban of the Southeast... more
A recent op-ed published Monday in STAT insists that proposed FDA guidance for Alzheimer’s drug development is “good news” that “removes unnecessary barriers” to bring new medications to market. FDA guidance for Alzheimer’s drugs: What’s not being said in the STAT op-ed? If the guidance is finalized, pharmaceutical companies would no... more
Longtime ScienceWriters editor Lynne Friedmann has let us know that her last issue will be Winter 2018-19, as she moves on to her own book project. To say she will be missed is an understatement. Later this year, we will announce a search to fill her organized and thoughtful shoes. Article topic: NASW news
NASW members are invited to apply for journalist travel grants to the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting June 24-29 in Germany. This year’s meeting is dedicated to physiology and medicine. The Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings’ grant will provide compensation for four nights’ accommodation and transportation costs up to a specified... more
The largest-ever randomized trial of using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in asymptomatic men over the age of 50 has found — after about 10 years of follow-up — no significant difference in prostate cancer deaths among men who were screened with a single (“one-off”) PSA test, and those who weren’t screened.... more
To research and write Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8, Heather Hansen followed the crew of a fire station near her Boulder CO home for two years. She went through training and testing to become a certified wildland firefighter, and joined the crew for emergency calls and planned burns. She provides here an insider’s view of the... more
Lawmakers concerned about a mounting opioid crisis are pushing for the pharmaceutical industry to fully disclose their financial influence on patient advocacy groups. Last week Ontario enacted a provincial law requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose payments made to such groups, as well as professional medical societies. This came just two... more
Major League Baseball players are sharpening their skills this month in Florida’s pre-season Grapefruit League. Meanwhile, Quincy Bioscience, a supplement company, is sharpening its pitch for a chewable supplement that supposedly “improves memory” and “supports clearer thinking.” A free sample of the product, called... more