Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Maryn McKenna is a freelancer focused on public and global health and food policy, the author of three books, and a senior fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She is a columnist for Wired and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, National Geographic, Smithsonian, The Atlantic,... more
Click here to read more stories about real people harmed by misleading messages, or share your own story. Many journalists seem enthralled with robotic surgery systems.  For local journalists — especially local TV journalists — the video of the robotic arms and the surgeon using the hand controls from a distance away from the patient... more
This is quite the unjustified headline from a Stanford University School of Medicine news release: ‘Magnetized wire could be used to detect cancer in people’ Stanford claims that antibody-coated, magnetic nanoparticles can be engineered to bind with circulating cancer tumor cells (CTCs). A magnetized wire, introduced via a catheter... more
Later this summer, you will be able to make your choices for the fifteen 2018-2020 NASW board members. Meet the candidates by checking out the online candidate statements or reading the summer issue of ScienceWriters magazine arriving in your mailbox in August. Read more for details on the voting timeline.
After a public outcry, the National Institutes of Health recently halted an industry-funded trial to find out whether moderate alcohol consumption promotes heart health. But its advice to the public on drinking remains problematic. Last week a link to the agency’s Rethinking Drinking website was sent to’s general... more
Lizzie Wade’s story about the competing scientific theories on the geological history of the Amazon won an award given by the American Geophysical Union in 2016. Wade is a Latin America correspondent, based in Mexico City, for Science. Trudging along the bank of a shallow creek in the Peruvian Amazon, Catherine Rigsby sinks knee-deep in mud... more
Sometimes things are clear as mud. This 5-star Friday is a good example. Take three of our choices below:  drug companies that aren’t drug companies, a tick-borne illness that may or may not be a disease, and the very human urge to be drawn to the repulsive. Other times things are quite clear. As in our the first choice below which reminds... more
A study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raises important questions about the implications of widespread screening for atrial fibrillation — our most common abnormal heart rhythm (or, “arrhythmia”). Atrial fibrillation (“AF” or “AFib” for short) is an irregular... more
We once again pull back the curtain to let you, the news consumer, learn about another of the behind-the-scenes ways in which the news is made. In a time of increasing competition for news attention, some health/medical/science news purveyors break new ground of questionable ethical practice.  In so doing, they may lure journalists into ethical... more
Courtesy of Linda NordlingLinda Nordling While reporting for Nature about the decolonization of science in post-Apartheid South Africa, science journalist Linda Nordling found herself in an uncomfortable spot. Nordling, a native of Sweden, had long lived in the United Kingdom before making South Africa her home more than a decade ago. She was... more