Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

The Mayo Clinic is deploying a new tactic to influence journalists: An all-expenses-paid residency program. The clinic’s Facebook post about the residency. Last week the health system invited reporters to apply for a five-day fellowship at its Rochester, Minn., campus entitled “Mayo Foundation Journalist Residency: Behind the Scenes in... more
Medicine as science. Medicine as theater. The former connotes certitude and rigor. The latter more nuance and drama. For those of us who practice medicine, or turn to it for help, or write about it, we realize it’s all these things. This spectrum is what makes it both delightfully compelling and frustratingly complex. This week features... more
INVENTING THE DOG, CANIS FAMILIARIS It once seemed as if the dog was a triumphant early human invention, our first domesticated animal many thousands of years ago, a deliberate product of ancient... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
I was in the waiting room of a medical office last week when I noticed this teaser on the cover of an old beauty magazine: “Acne vaccine?” I flipped through the April 2016 issue of Allure to find a short blurb about a University of California, San Diego, researcher who “has been working on two different acne-targeted vaccines in partnership with... more
Paul Knoepfler PhD is “disturbed and concerned.” Here’s why. Knoepfler is a stem cell researcher and professor at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine. Over the past couple of years he has noticed more and more big budget ads for unproven stem cell therapies showing up in major American newspapers, such as these... more
Courtesy of Rosie ChometThe Depression Monster, by Rosie Chomet.   To be a science writer—to generate creative ideas, meet deadlines, and turn around timely revisions—you have to have a routine. Mine starts with a dose of citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that sometimes makes me nauseated but otherwise keeps me healthy. For... more
A couple of recent headlines dealing with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) caught our attention: “Acupuncture may be effective painkiller in the ER” — HealthDay News “New study shows promise of yoga in treating back pain” — When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When we... more
If anyone ever says that he or she can’t find an industry-independent expert for a news story or for an FDA committee, they just haven’t looked hard enough. For 9 years, we have hosted what is, to the best of our knowledge, a one-of-a-kind list of health care industry-independent experts. Now that list has been revised, with new names... more
Scientists and others are pushing back pretty hard against David Wallace-Wells’s doomsday portrait of climate change, the cover story in the July 10-23 issue of New York magazine. (No, not the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Medpage Today sent me a video this week that triggered a stream of consciousness about health literacy … or illiteracy. Here’s my chain of thoughts, not a scientific approach by any means, but more of my trip down a sobering rabbit hole which ends with this question: How much of the health information that journalists send out there... more