Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Many journalists feel anxiety when dealing with statistics, data, or even arithmetic in their work, to the point where some consider being "bad at math" practically a badge of honor. But math anxiety is neither fixed nor insurmountable—it is the product of deeply ingrained thought patterns, ones that can be changed and altered to more positive,... more
The Open Notebook is an essential resource for science journalists and aspiring science writers. We are committed to continuing to support the science journalism community. If TON is a meaningful resource for you, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today. The post Please Help Support <i>The Open Notebook</i> appeared... more
The pandemic left many writers without one of their main tools to write engaging scenes: going to places where they can experience the story firsthand. Many audio producers are accustomed to telling stories from a distance, so the questions they ask to create sensory scenes didn’t change much in remote reporting. However, they did have to make... more
In December 2020, Kenyan freelance science journalist Geoffrey Kamadi won the gold award in the small-outlet category of the 2020 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards for his investigative story for Science Africa, “Tana River Basin under Threat.” For his story, Kamadi traveled to the Tana River Delta, where he meets farmers whose livelihoods... more
Two of Latria Graham’s best-recognized stories detail, for Outside magazine, her personal reckonings with being a Black woman experiencing and writing about the outdoors. The second, entitled “Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream,” is a piece that “cost me a piece of my soul that I will never get back,” she says. Here, Graham speaks with science... more
No journalist understands the complexities of zoonotic diseases quite like David Quammen. In 2012, he published Spillover, a book predicting the arrival of a terrible pandemic, spurred by a novel virus passing from animals to humans. For that project, he traveled to remote villages, walked through forests, and crawled in caves looking for answers... more
The human brain isn’t great at understanding probability. But as science writers, we must often communicate probability accurately and vividly to our readers. Fortunately, science writers can use a number of reliable strategies to convey just what a 15 percent chance of an extreme weather event, or an 80 percent chance of recovering from a... more
Ten countries, 38 reporters, 29 in-depth stories, and a database that documents nearly 2,400 acts of violence against Latin American environmental leaders are a few of the numbers that characterize the ambitious Land of Resistants project. To achieve their goals, the team clearly defined concepts, methods, and deadlines from the beginning.... more
Diez países, 38 reporteros, 29 reportajes de largo aliento y una base de datos que documenta más de 2.400 episodios violentos contra líderes ambientales latinoamericanos son algunas de las cifras del ambicioso proyecto periodístico Tierra de Resistentes. Para completar el proyecto, el equipo delimitó claramente los conceptos más relevantes, la... more
Interviewing scientists is a basic part of science journalism. But choosing the right sources and having a successful conversation can be a challenging task—even for seasoned reporters. There is no guarantee that every interview is going to be great, but planning and preparing well can maximize your chances of getting the information you need and... more