New Horizons in Science

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Newsroom 2020

Stories from New Horizons in Science 2020


The New Horizons Newsroom presents coverage of CASW's New Horizons in Science briefings by student writers and New Horizons Traveling Fellows. The Newsroom was launched with the 2013 conference.

This page presents stories written by attendees at the 2020 edition of ComSciCon-SciWri, a science-communication workshop presented for the third time in conjunction with the ScienceWriters meeting. 

Special thanks to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, sponsor of ComSciCon-SciWri20, and to all who helped these writers learn firsthand about science reporting. In addition to workshop organizers and presenters, we thank the ComSciCon-SciWri mentors: Athena Aktipis, Ashley Braun, Hannah Hickey, Liz Devitt, Pete Farley, Hannah Hickey, Jane Hu, Jeanette Kazmierczak, William Kearney, Betsy Mason, Ashley Smart, Tom Ulrich, Jon Weiner, and Liz Zubritsky. And finally the Newsroom editors: Czerne Reid (chief editor), Liz Devitt, Bryn Nelson, and Joann Rodgers.

Newsroom 2020

Shifting fire regimes in the far North threaten a delicate balance

by Olivia Box | The first time arctic ecologist Merritt Turetsky saw fire damage in her field sites, the sight brought tears to her eyes. “I’m a wetland person,” she said in a recent interview. “We... more

Latinos’ under-recognized role in the U.S. economy drives higher rates of hospitalization and death during pandemic

by Priscila Guzmán | Disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 infection among Latinos in the U.S. can be linked to their work in essential job sectors. But negative portrayals of the group in public... more

Racism is no glitch, Benjamin tells science writers

by Claudia López Lloreda | In a presentation to hundreds of science journalists and communicators Oct. 21, a prominent Princeton social scientist argued that technology, often seen as the solution to... more

Studies show disparate death rates from COVID-19 linked to both poverty and race

by Juliana Nazaré | Two recent studies by Harvard University researchers have added striking new details to the story of racial disparities in deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.... more

Aboriginal burning practices: a solution to Australia’s catastrophic wildfires?

by Brianne Palmer | The cause of the 2019–20 “black summer” bushfires that swept across Australia—burning over 40 million acres and 3,000 homes and killing 33 people—can be found in Australia’s... more

Perseverance carries hope of finding signs of ancient life on Mars

by Smaranda Sandu | As the Perseverance rover cruises to Mars, hundreds of scientists anxiously await the moment when the planet’s newest robot explorer will land and start searching for signs of... more

A rover that will explore the possible existence of life on Mars—and collect samples for Earthbound study

by Johnny Davila-Sandoval | Mars rovers have thrilled scientists and the public with surprising images, a wealth of data, and intriguing hints of the possibility that the planet may have harbored... more

Fake news' potent impact may be... fake news

by Sarah Kearns | A social scientist known for his study of information networks and relationships has taken a hard look at so-called “fake news” and concluded that it is not as widespread as some... more

After Australian mega-fires, many species face extinction threats

by Victoria Yell | For many, the catastrophic 2019–20 Australian mega-fires feel like a distant nightmare. The fires burned for seven months, destroying vegetation across an area larger than Portugal... more

Could organized 'counter-speech' curb online hate?

by Anna Drangowska-Way | Around the world, the internet is plagued by online hate speech—insulting and harmful messages about groups or individuals, and even calls for violence against them. Although... more

Native American communities battling COVID-19 draw on strengths

by Bradley Allf | From smallpox to COVID-19, introduced infectious diseases have had a disproportionate impact on Native American communities for centuries. The current pandemic is casting a harsh... more

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