Popular Science has shut off its website comments, citing research on their dangers as justification. PopSci'sSuzanne LaBarre ties uncivil comments to "a politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise [that] has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics." But Marie-Claire Shanahan says the studies weren't that solid. More: CJR, the Atlantic.
"The internet and other technology keeps us on insanely high alert, ultimately producing an effect where we attend to everything and we attend to nothing (deeply)," L.L. Barkat writes in a post that discusses overload's physiological effects and suggests ways of curbing the beast: "When you let yourself get carried away by the high-alert cycle and give in to its constant interruptions … it takes you about twenty-five minutes to fully return to your original project."
When the Wisconsin legislative joint finance committee inserted a motion into the proposed state budget that would have banned the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from maintaining its offices on campus — and would forbid any university employee from working with the center — the university and journalists pushed back, and won. Deborah Blum tells the story in the Summer 2013ScienceWriters.
About $30,000, in the case of Jeff Chu, a Fast Company editor and newly published author: "This is the first time I've run these numbers," Chu writes. "I didn't realize I've spent more than $30,000 on this thing. It hasn't become a best-seller, and who knows if I'll ever get a royalty check? Even after you factor in my advance (after, of course, my agent's cut and those pesky taxes), it's doubtful I'm doing better financially than if I'd just stayed at my day job."
Congratulations to the twenty NASW travel fellows selected for a grant to attend ScienceWriters2013 Nov. 1-5 in Gainesville, Florida. Check the full post for a list of recipients. Thank you to all who applied. We had a record setting number of applications.
Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer and the reported author of this email to a journalism student asking for advice from the experienced: "When I was starting out, my editor often told me what the story was about before I ever went out to report it, so I tried to tailor my questions and observations and even the writing to what I thought the editor wanted. But the story you set out to get isn’t always the story that’s really there."
From web searches to driverless cars, Google's fingerprints are all over our lives. Now, it wants us to live longer, Tabitha M. Powledge writes in her weekly roundup. Coverage of the Calico project on "the challenge of aging and associated diseases" was short on details, but shouldn't be dismissed, she writes: "It’s not bonkers to think that Calico, with its unlimited funds and access to very good brains, might accomplish fine things even if death remains with us."