Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Articles

November 09, 2019

by Lidio Albuquerque | 

When statistician Nicole Lazar published an editorial in The American Statistician earlier this year advocating changes in the way scientists handle the troublesome issue of statistical significance, her father—who trained as a sociologist—asked her, "Are you getting death threats on Twitter?"

November 08, 2019

by Christina Marvin | 

Science has given doctors more and more powerful drugs to deploy against infectious diseases and cancers in recent decades, and yet many new therapies have failed to live up to their promise. Andrew Read has some ideas about how to change that. 

November 08, 2019

An interview with Rob Jackson 

by Brooke Kuei | 

November 07, 2019

by R. Kevin Tindell | 

Beneath the ocean waters off Antartica, massive buried shelves of ice function like buttresses, supporting the continent’s massive ice sheets.

If those buttresses fail, Richard Alley told science writers at a recent conference in State College, Pa., global sea levels will not rise by inches, as predicted by recent climate reports—but instead by as much as 186 feet.

November 07, 2019

by Charlie Crowe |

David Keith has a tool for fighting climate change, and a big challenge: convincing the rest of the world to use it. Speaking to science writers gathered in State College, Pa. on Oct. 28, Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard University, said he understands why some are apprehensive about his approach.

“This topic is controversial,” Keith said, “and it should be.”

November 06, 2019

by Paul Nicolaus |

The wide world of biotechnology encompasses an array of fields and applications, but what is industrial biotechnology? During a tour offered Oct. 28 by Penn State University as part of the ScienceWriters2019 conference, a group of science writers learned that industrial biotechnology applies techniques of molecular biology to industrial, health, and societal challenges.

November 06, 2019

by Brooke N. Dulka | 

“I’m an observer,” said astronomer Jason Wright. “I’ve always enjoyed the little corners that are being neglected.” In recent years Wright has been exploring one such neglected corner—the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. He is optimistic that it will soon be full of activity.

November 06, 2019

by Maria Carnovale | 

Kiran Musunuru was shocked. In a few days, on Nov. 27, 2018, scientists from all over the world would meet in Hong Kong to set standards for the use of the CRISPR gene-editing tool on human embryos. Yet the paper in front of him suggested that in China, gene-edited twins were already growing in their mother’s uterus, with the help of scientist He Jiankui.

November 06, 2019

by Candice Bree Limper | 

A newsmaker from an unexpected encounter has offered scientific news from an unexpected source—poop.

As I looked for stories at a science writers’ conference in State College, Pa., it was the fellow student scientist who sat down next to me who provided a rich story about the potential for pathogens called reoviruses—commonly found in human and other animal waste—to advance the control of cancer cell growth.

November 05, 2019

by Sarah Reitz | 

Upside-down jellyfish growing in a lab in Pennsylvania could help protect endangered coral reefs in the world’s oceans.

The creatures serve as a stand-in for corals off the southern coast of Florida that spawn once a year, seven days after a full moon, exactly three and a half hours after sunset — and at the height of Florida’s hurricane season.