Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Journalists as watchdogs. Safeguarding the public’s interests. We need you now more than ever. If only because the medical industrial complex sometimes has a different set of priorities. Different interests. William Mayo, one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic, once said: “The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be... more
A bureaucratic snafu in the UK has generated international headlines bemoaning the deaths of hundreds of women. Some coverage, such as this CNN story picked up by KSAT in San Antonio, brought visions of a mass casualty event on the scale of a terrorist attack or airline crash: Dozens of other news outlets chimed in with similarly explosive... more
How are computer scientists building their army of virtual fact-checkers? What are their models of truth? And how close are we to entrusting their algorithms to cull fake news? Popular Science tried out an automated fact-checker, using a piece of fake news, and compare its process to a human fact-checker. Article type: ScienceWriters... more
Congratulations to The Open Notebook and NASW's Diversity Committee. Together, they will launch a new Diverse Voices program thanks to a grant from Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation. Read more about this exciting effort to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the stories and storytellers of science and... more
An article published Sunday in the New York Times has triggered an impassioned social media response — mostly from addiction experts — expressing frustration over how people with addiction are stigmatized by the medical community, and how media coverage can perpetuate the problem. Here’s the headline: Injecting Drugs Can Ruin a... more
Dear TON readers: We are thrilled to announce that Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, has awarded The Open Notebook a $150,000 grant to expand our work. The goals of the grant, $75,000 per year for two years, are twofold. First, we will launch a new series of stories (16 stories in total) that will examine the experiences and... more
  Want a simple way to know if you should be skeptical about a health claim? Look for the word “support” used as a verb. As in, USA Today’s claim on Twitter that “Research suggests chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health.” How does dark chocolate “... more
When a journalist is on the prowl for a new story, every yarn spun by a friend, every press release, every vacation adventure, and every quirky local news item can seem like the beginning of a great story idea. But most glimmers of inspiration turn out to be just that—transient inklings. Only a few will be real gems. The most successful... more
Mon, 04/30/2018Artificial intelligence and the fake news problem, reports from the inaugural SciComm South Conference, how journalists can turn privacy laws to their advantage, and changes in rules for deducting tax-preparation fees. Full text visible only to NASW members.
Tiffany Mielcarek was aghast when she saw NBC’s Today Show hype an experimental weight loss procedure that freezes a branch of the vagus nerve that sends hunger signals to the brain and regulates digestion. “They were talking about it as if this were a miracle. No risks were brought up at all,” said the 48-year-old Ohio resident... more