Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

Blood pressure, dietary salt, and how genes influence human biology are among the most frequently reported health-related topics in the media. In the last couple of weeks the new and lower blood pressure guidelines have been widely publicized and critically analyzed; salt is always in the news; and there is no shortage of stories about genes that... more
When you see an outpouring of loving obituaries, as we saw this week after the death of Princeton health care economist Uwe Reinhardt, you know we have lost someone special. A German by birth, Reinhardt consistently forced Americans to look in the mirror and answer his questions, “What kind of people do you want to be when it comes to health... more
About half the editors at the most prestigious medical journals in the U.S. receive payments from the pharmaceutical or medical device industries. But only 30 percent of these journals make it clear to readers what their policies are regarding such conflicts of interest. Those are the findings of a Canadian study published last month in the BMJ.... more
Science writer Brian Vastag is taking part in an intense experiment aimed at finding out if and how an infection may have disrupted his nervous system, leaving him with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS. Article type: ScienceWriters magazineArticle topic: Science writing news
It’s a television journalism staple: the first-person experience. These pieces are conceived with good intentions, but they can lead viewers to misguided, costly, and potentially dangerous thinking. A journalist at WCCO, Minneapolis’s CBS affiliate, recently put himself through a battery of tests ostensibly to test his heart health. The set... more
Earlier this year we began inviting public relations staff to submit their draft health care news releases to us for critiquing prior to publication. Since then we’ve offered guidance to a small number of academic medical centers, trade groups, PR firms and medical associations who sought out our free assistance. We’ve provided... more
Alex/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) In August, freelance science writer Viviane Callier attended a small evolutionary-developmental-biology meeting in Calgary, Canada. She had asked the organizers if she could attend and report on the meeting, and they had agreed. Callier, a freelancer, hoped to turn some of the talks there into stories. She... more
Having a conversation with Victor Montori you can almost feel your hair blow back. If he were introduced at a medical conference you’d probably get something like this: Mayo Clinic diabetes physician, author of roughly 600 publications, world-class expert in shared decision-making and evidence-based medicine, director of Mayo’s... more
A PEDESTRIAN HYPOTHESIS “Walking on two feet is a defining human characteristic, and two feet carried our progenitors out of Africa to people the planet. Archeologists have long thought that... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Many of the journalists we know take pride in two things. First, that their writing might help the public to think and talk about issues that have the potential to improve lives. Second, that they stand up, take notice, and find stories where others may not. Several of the 5-star stories we selected below are excellent examples of stories hiding... more