Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

In this installment of 5-Star Friday — our regular feature highlighting excellent health care writing that caught our eye — we noticed a bit of a common thread. Our publisher Gary Schwitzer called it “a step away from the norm of the daily drumbeat.” The topics covered below are ones you’ll read about week after week... more
Earlier this month, Mehmet Oz, MD celebrated his 1,500th “Dr. Oz” show. Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and Martha Stewart made appearances, proffering congratulations and discussing everything from mercury in fish to the #metoo movement. I felt less jubilant: In the decade that The Dr. Oz Show has been on the air, it hasn’t been... more
Dennis Overbye’s story, which covered two teams of scientists as they struggled to close in on the Higgs Boson, won a National Academies Keck Future Initiative Communication award in 2014. Overbye has been a reporter at The New York Times for almost 20 years. Meyrin, Switzerland — Vivek Sharma missed his daughter. A professor at the... more
Here’s a recipe for misinformation: Take two topics well known to generate clicks: alcohol and longevity. Find a study that suggests alcohol increases longevity. Fail to mention the study is observational but still emphasize cause-and-effect language in your headline. Here’s what you get: Drinking Alcohol Key to Living Past 90 (NY... more
Skitterphoto/Pixabax (CC0)   Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. Here’s our latest question: What are the essentials of a strong proposal for a journalism fellowship? Fellowships can boost your career in many ways. They provide a supportive environment that can yield more impactful stories. They supplement commissions from... more
Last week in The New York Times, Jane Brody predicted “A Perfect Storm for Broken Bones.”  But the column has elements of a perfect storm of disease-mongering. She writes that “fewer adults at risk of advanced bone loss and fractures are undergoing tests for bone density, resulting in a decline in the diagnosis and treatment of... more
Today’s headlines on ultra-processed foods and cancer offer a good case study in the right way — and the wrong way — to frame the results of an observational study about diet and the risk of disease. The stories are based on a French study in which more than 100,000 people were asked about their diets. Researchers looked... more
Congratulations to the 2018 NASW Travel Fellows to the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, Feb.15-19 in Austin, Texas. These 11 undergraduate students from around the U.S. were selected by the NASW Education Committee from a competitive pool of applicants. Travel fellows will each write a story for publication on the... more
Reams of clinical data that could improve treatment decisions are kept secret by regulators, transparency advocates say. A recent analysis of once-secret clinical trial data concluded that a popular morning sickness drug, Diclegis, doesn’t actually work. That surprising finding, made possible by the release of previously undisclosed data by... more