Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

I can’t remember a week that has featured so much useless reporting about studies that are meaningless to the average reader. All the stories featured clickbait-y diet topics like alcohol, chocolate, coffee, and fiber. All were based on observational studies that can only show associations, not cause-and-effect, and which are prone to... more
Genes help shape intelligence, period. That’s not new news, even though it continues to be a source of dispute for a number of reasons, mostly historical. It’s also not new news that no... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
The National Association of Science Writers’ inaugural Diversity Fellowship has been awarded to two fellows — Aneri Pattani, a recent graduate of the journalism program at Northeastern University in Boston, and Marissa Shieh, a recent graduate of NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. Article type: FellowshipsArticle topic... more
The five-day program for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists features global issues, research topics and challenges, a chance to learn how science writing is done around the world, and a star-studded cast of headline speakers together with all the classic elements of a ScienceWriters meeting: professional development workshops,... more
Imagine you have an amazing office visit with Dr. Wunderbar who offers the following:  unequivocal confirmation that the symptoms you’ve been experiencing actually represent an accepted disease with a real name  studies, statistics, and even anecdotes from other patients validating your experience  help in finding discounted prices for the... more
Right on the heels of Tuesday’s overblown news that “even one glass of alcohol a day raises your breast cancer risk” comes another series of diet-related headlines–this time on another foodstuff guaranteed to garner publicity: chocolate. In this case, instead of chocolate being bad, we learn it might be good: Researchers reviewing data from... more
Multiple large news outlets are running stories today about the role of alcohol in promoting breast cancer risk. ABC: Consuming just 1 alcoholic drink a day increases breast cancer risk, report finds Washington Post: Just one alcoholic drink a day increases risk of breast cancer, study says USA Today: One small drink a day increases breast cancer... more
By her senior year as a biology major at Williams College, Laurel Hamers had a revelation. She had been growing disillusioned with research in general, mostly because she didn’t like working with fruit flies—she was sick of the drudgery and the smell—and she was having a hard time choosing a PhD program in biology. In her spare time, she... more
Children pose with a prototype of the children’s book used in the study, in Rwanda. Credit Matt Oxman/Informed Health Choices. You’ve probably gotten bad medical advice at some point, and odds are good that it started when you were a kid. For example, it was conventional wisdom where I grew up that you should put butter on a burn. But despite the... more
Can you be fat but fit? Over the years the answer to that question has been:  yes, no, and depends. What it really depends on is what study you read. The answer was “yes” in this 2012 study in which lead author, Francisco Ortega concluded: “”It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic disease such... more

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