Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Periscope

In a promo for his upcoming report on the role of marijuana in alleviating the opioid crisis, CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, beckons viewers: “Join us as we investigate a search for answers and meet potential pioneers and outspoken critics. Whether you struggle with opioids or know one of the millions who do, decide for... more
America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with more than 40,000 people dying from overdose each of the past two years and millions more at risk. News outlets have been covering the story from seemingly every angle.  And yet, there are still angles to be explored. In this story, NPR took on the burdens of addiction to families — not only... more
A key to making an informed medical choice is weighing benefits and harms. But how do you know how likely you are to benefit from a medical treatment or procedure? In making these decisions it’s not always easy to decipher the latest research because clinical trial results on drugs and other interventions are communicated in a variety of... more
Click to see the full series. Helen Haskell first learned about the surgical procedure that would ultimately kill her son by reading a local newspaper article. The article described the surgery, known as the Nuss procedure, as “a revolutionary type of surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina.” It was being marketed as a new way... more
Courtesy of Alaina LevineAlaina Levine at Biosphere 2, a unique earth system science research facility in Oracle, Arizona. As a business and lifestyle reporter, Arizona-based freelance journalist Alaina Levine never expected a newspaper ad about spiders to play a key role in her journalism career. But in 2012, it landed her a story with Scientific... more
There is a delay of about 300 days from the time a drug company issues a news release about a new study of a cancer drug, to the time the complete results of the study are published in a peer-reviewed journal. This according to a study published last week in JAMA Oncology. This certainly raises the question of why does it take so long? But it also... more
A study published recently in The BMJ addressed a question with surefire media appeal: Does the political affiliation of doctors affect the quality of care that they provide to patients at the end of their lives? The story was snapped up by news organizations ranging from US News and World Report to the UK Daily Mail. The study was also the... more
Sandeep Ravindran is a freelance science writer based in New York City. He has written about life sciences and technology for publications such as Smithsonian, National Geographic News, Nature, The Scientist, Wired, Popular Science, and Science News for Students. Before becoming a science writer he received a microbiology PhD from Stanford... more
Click to see the full series April 17, 2018 is our 12th anniversary of daily publishing.  From the time we launched 12 years ago, we have been concerned about the very real harm that can be done to some patients from misleading media messages. Our project is perhaps the only one in the U.S. that provides the general public the... more
I doubt a week goes by at that we don’t write about one of the following … … drugs, mice, or money. You could rightly accuse me of being predictable when I say that following the money has gotten trickier in health care journalism; that pharma as a lobbyist makes the auto industry of the post-war years look... more