Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

In her short book Wall Disease: The Psychological Toll of Living Up Against a Border, published in October 2020, science journalist Jessica Wapner explores how living by a border changes people. In this interview, Wapner talks with Rodrigo Pérez Ortega about her motivation to disentangle the effects of walls on people’s brains, the process of... more
We're delighted to announce the first of our Science Journalism Master Classes, a series of online courses that will be delivered by email. Our hands-on classes are designed to help science writers wherever they are in their careers—novice, developing, or established—sharpen the core skills this business requires. And thanks to a generous grant... more
Desde diciembre, el ciclo de noticias de la pandemia ha girado en torno a una cosa: las vacunas. Los escritores de ciencia que cubren la salida y distribución de las vacunas deben equilibrar el reporteo preciso con la comprensión de las posibles dudas de sus lectores sobre las vacunas, reconocer las disparidades, explicar los datos,... more
Since December, the pandemic news cycle has revolved around one thing: vaccines. Science writers covering the vaccine rollout must balance accurate reporting with understanding their readers’ potential vaccine hesitancy, acknowledging disparities, explaining data, holding those responsible for distribution failures accountable, and more. The Open... more
At some point in their career, most journalists will make a mistake, from minor ones such as misspellings to more significant ones like misunderstanding the conclusions of a study. It’s crucial to understand how mistakes happen, so journalists can do their best to avoid them—and understand how to handle them when they do occur. The post How to... more
With mental conditions like depression and PTSD so common in modern society, it’s likely that a science editor will, at some point, work with writers who have mental health conditions. But insufficient training can leave editors unprepared for handling mental health issues that surface in the workplace. That said, there’s much that editors and... more
Contested illnesses pose extraordinary challenges for science journalists, because the scientific consensus we aim to present simply doesn’t exist for most questions. Science journalists thus have a heavy lift figuring out what the science truly says and making sure they neither elevate fringe views nor suppress legitimate arguments. And because... more
Science reporting is lacking in many places, including Nigeria. But journalist Abdullahi Tsanni and his colleagues are determined to change this through new venues, such as the African Science Literacy Network (ASLN), a program that pairs journalists with scientists across Nigeria, who collaborate on science stories published in the media. Still... more
Many writers will at some point write a piece that generates a negative reaction from readers. Sometimes it’s warranted, and was perhaps avoidable; sometimes, as one editor puts it, “people are just jerks.” But tucked into the backlash is often a lesson—whether it’s about boosting your digital security, building out your source list for your next... more

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