Since its inception in 2010, more than $350,000 has been awarded by NASW's Idea Grants program for projects that benefit science writing and its practitioners. Read more to see a list of all the awardees and their exciting science writing projects. Visit www.nasw.org/ideagrants2014 for the latest call for proposals due November 4, 2014.
Welcome to the NASW Marketing and Publishing Resource. These articles aim to help NASW members take advantage of the new opportunities for marketing and publishing their articles and books, whether they self-publish or work with a commercial publisher.
The Words' Worth database is a place for NASW members to report their own experiences with freelancing clients and find valuable information from other members about what they did, what they charged, and how it went — information that can help you improve your business.
Roy Peter Clark discusses a worthy heir to his old Best Newspaper Writing series, a book called The Best American Newspaper Narratives, edited by Mayborn conference director George Getschow, of whom Clark writes: "He places these contemporary narratives in a historical context, tracing the impulse for storytelling in journalism back to the 19th century in the work of Mark Twain, Lafcadio Hearn (whom every storyteller in journalism should read), and Stephen Crane."
Alzheimer’s is already the most expensive disease in the United States, and its cost is growing steadily, so it's no great surprise that news of promising results from two monoclonal antibody drugs got a lot of attention last week, Tabitha M. Powledge writes. Too bad it wasn't right: "There are plenty of hard-nosed critiques out there, so it’s difficult to understand the media huzzahs. Unless so-called reporters are just swallowing press releases whole. Oh, wait …"
Bad reporting on health science isn't a problem just in America, writes Kathlyn Stone, who interviews Bad Science blogger and physician Ben Goldacre on the flaws of British coverage: "As in the United States, the level of trust the British public has in its media is a mixed bag. 'I think it varies very widely from person to person, and story to story,' says Goldacre. Of specific media he says, 'It’s a broad church, with some very good and some very bad coverage.'"
Jack Limpert's typewriter reminiscences about the good old days, when it was the focal point of the office instead of forgotten in the basement: "I remember hearing the salespeople say that if we spent $100,000 on their computers, we’d be able to save that much in salaries because the computers were so efficient. Ha! The staff is bigger than ever, and we now have two guys called IT managers and everyone treats them like the most important people in the office."
Almost 50 years after the Kerner Commission concluded that one cause of urban unrest was the lack of racial diversity in American newsrooms, Alex T. Williams writes that not much has changed: "Comparing the 2013 job placement rates, graduating minorities that specialized in print were 17 percentage points less likely to find a full-time job than non-minorities; minorities specializing in broadcasting were 17 percentage points less likely to find a full-time job."
The real solution to writer's block might lie in the same confusion and chaos that gives rise to it, Christie Aschwanden writes in a discussion of a new book by University of Central Florida computer scientist Kenneth Stanley: "If you’re trying to create something new, an objective can stand in your way. Seeking novelty instead of objectives is risky — not every interesting thread will pay off — but just like with stocks, the potential payoffs are higher."
Rose Eveleth describes what it's like to be a victim of "doxxing," the public posting of private data for purposes of harassment: "Your phone is full of vile text messages and rings continuously. Your e-mail is full of threatening messages and photographs of dead bodies. Twitter and Facebook — and other ways you might communicate with friends and family not physically present — are clogged with threats." Also: tips on how to prevent doxxing and what to do if it happens.