Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Articles

June 15, 2020

by J. Alex Grizzell | 

When word of the June 10 #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia strike day reached the University of Colorado, its flagship campus was already embroiled in anti-racism campaigns demanding action by university administrators. The call to halt business as usual and instead engage in education, advocacy, and change to improve inclusion and support for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, staff, and colleagues struck a nerve in Boulder. 

June 13, 2020

by Ana Smaranda Sandu | 

Mathematics is known as one of the most inaccessible disciplines in academia. A Google search for “mathematician” will likely turn up a white man, usually older, surrounded by intractable symbols. And as a field of graduate study, mathematics seems especially inaccessible to Black students. Around 50 faculty and grad students and postdocs in the Department of Mathematics at Cornell University spent part of June 10 in a conference call discussing why.

June 12, 2020

by J. Alex Grizzell, Janani Hariharan, Candice Limper, and Andy Sanchez | 

For many academics, news of a one-day strike from labs and classrooms arrived just a day or two before the event itself—“probably because so few [senior faculty/administrators] are active on social media,” said Bret Eshman, a postdoctoral fellow at Florida International University. “That’s how I found out about it on Tuesday.”

November 09, 2019

by Lidio Albuquerque | 

When statistician Nicole Lazar published an editorial in The American Statistician earlier this year advocating changes in the way scientists handle the troublesome issue of statistical significance, her father—who trained as a sociologist—asked her, "Are you getting death threats on Twitter?"

November 08, 2019

by Christina Marvin | 

Science has given doctors more and more powerful drugs to deploy against infectious diseases and cancers in recent decades, and yet many new therapies have failed to live up to their promise. Andrew Read has some ideas about how to change that. 

November 08, 2019

An interview with Rob Jackson 


by Brooke Kuei | 

November 07, 2019

by R. Kevin Tindell | 

Beneath the ocean waters off Antartica, massive buried shelves of ice function like buttresses, supporting the continent’s massive ice sheets.

If those buttresses fail, Richard Alley told science writers at a recent conference in State College, Pa., global sea levels will not rise by inches, as predicted by recent climate reports—but instead by as much as 186 feet.

November 07, 2019

by Charlie Crowe |

David Keith has a tool for fighting climate change, and a big challenge: convincing the rest of the world to use it. Speaking to science writers gathered in State College, Pa. on Oct. 28, Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard University, said he understands why some are apprehensive about his approach.

“This topic is controversial,” Keith said, “and it should be.”

November 06, 2019

by Paul Nicolaus |

The wide world of biotechnology encompasses an array of fields and applications, but what is industrial biotechnology? During a tour offered Oct. 28 by Penn State University as part of the ScienceWriters2019 conference, a group of science writers learned that industrial biotechnology applies techniques of molecular biology to industrial, health, and societal challenges.

November 06, 2019

by Brooke N. Dulka | 

“I’m an observer,” said astronomer Jason Wright. “I’ve always enjoyed the little corners that are being neglected.” In recent years Wright has been exploring one such neglected corner—the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. He is optimistic that it will soon be full of activity.

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