Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Articles

November 12, 2020

by Priscila Guzmán | 

Disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 infection among Latinos in the U.S. can be linked to their work in essential job sectors. But negative portrayals of the group in public discourse hamper efforts to address racial health disparities, an expert says.

November 08, 2020

by Brianne Palmer | 

The cause of the 2019–20 “black summer” bushfires that swept across Australia—burning over 40 million acres and 3,000 homes and killing 33 people—can be found in Australia’s history, says Michael-Shawn Fletcher.

November 06, 2020

by Claudia López Lloreda | 

In a presentation to hundreds of science journalists and communicators Oct. 21, a prominent Princeton social scientist argued that technology, often seen as the solution to many of the world’s problems, instead reinforces and itself creates harmful social inequalities.

November 05, 2020

by Juliana Nazaré | 

Two recent studies by Harvard University researchers have added striking new details to the story of racial disparities in deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

November 04, 2020

by Victoria Yell | 

For many, the catastrophic 2019–20 Australian mega-fires feel like a distant nightmare. The fires burned for seven months, destroying vegetation across an area larger than Portugal and killing an estimated three billion animals, according to a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

November 04, 2020

by Smaranda Sandu | 

As the Perseverance rover cruises to Mars, hundreds of scientists anxiously await the moment when the planet’s newest robot explorer will land and start searching for signs of ancient life. The results of that search, says Katie Stack Morgan, could “reframe our place as humans in the solar system.”

November 04, 2020

by Anna Drangowska-Way | 

Around the world, the internet is plagued by online hate speech—insulting and harmful messages about groups or individuals, and even calls for violence against them. Although no single solution is likely to rein in hate speech, a new preliminary study suggests that posting positive counter-messages, and organizing anti-hate groups whose members can support each other online, may help reduce the prevalence and reach of abusive or threatening discourse.   

November 02, 2020

by Bradley Allf | 

From smallpox to COVID-19, introduced infectious diseases have had a disproportionate impact on Native American communities for centuries. The current pandemic is casting a harsh spotlight on the systemic contributors to this unequal burden.

October 29, 2020

by Johnny Davila-Sandoval | 

Mars rovers have thrilled scientists and the public with surprising images, a wealth of data, and intriguing hints of the possibility that the planet may have harbored life. But so far, none of them have gathered bits of the planet for study back on Earth.

An ambitious mission set to begin on Mars next year will change that, caching rocks that can be brought back to Earth for laboratory analysis—while also deploying sophisticated tools to lay the groundwork for human exploration.

October 27, 2020

by Olivia Box | 

The first time arctic ecologist Merritt Turetsky saw fire damage in her field sites, the sight brought tears to her eyes. “I’m a wetland person,” she said in a recent interview. “We don’t think of wetlands as being on fire.” Wetlands and peatlands burn every thousand years, it was thought.