Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Like a classic thriller from the silver screen, today’s 5-star selections feature an unexpected twist — whether that’s the surprising path to recovery that some people find from opioid addiction; the shocking way that a patient group found itself exploited by the drug industry; or the remarkable truth about your metabolism and... more
In the Apollo 8 mission, December 21, 1968, humans left earth’s gravity for the first time, and flew to the moon, circling it 10 times. They took now-iconic photos from space. To mark Apollo 8’s 50th anniversary, Robert Zimmerman collaborated with a fan of his 1998 book Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8: The First Manned Flight to Another World to... more
The PIO Committee issues a statement on one of this fall's proposed amendments. Article type: Governance
In our continuing series on problematic public relations news releases, we add another entry to our category on claims made about animal studies. The reason we’re continuing to hammer away on this issue is that, as you’ll see in these examples, many news releases deliver misleading messages that can easily be misinterpreted by readers... more
The tightening of access to our public servants and information is a critical issue for the science writing community. Join us in D.C. on October 16 for the Information Access Summit. Read more Article type: ScienceWriters meetingArticle topic: Science writing news
Emily KassieLizzie Presser Before abortion was legal across the United States, underground networks of women—such as the Jane Collective in Chicago—worked secretly to help end unwanted pregnancies. They used herbs, pills, and homemade devices to discreetly provide abortions at the homes of the women who needed them. Then, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme... more
Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans is a modern teaching hospital offering the latest innovative treatments from a staff of highly trained experts. So why do its communications about prostate cancer sound like they were crafted on a bayou backwater that’s 20 years behind the times? Their PR team is promoting an event called Man Up! Geaux... more
DNA makes us who we are. But how? In Genetics 101, Beth Skwarecki starts at the beginning. She aims to build lay readers’ understanding step-by-step, and moves from describing basic building blocks of cellular information to how traits are inherited to topics in the news, including how DNA ancestry services work, ethical quandaries posed by... more
It’s been a long, hot summer with no small amount of scary headlines. While we’ve covered the topic of summer scare-mongering before, what’s trending this summer is less random and more insect-and-critter obsessed. Bats, ticks, dog saliva, drunken wasps, and a vast array of parasites could truly turn this into a summer of despair (if judging by... more

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