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.
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.
Phil Davis recaps a speech by Science magazine's John Bohannon at an academic publishers' conference and weighs whether the presence of cameras impedes the open exchange of ideas. In his case, he says the answer is yes: "I’m prone to veering off-topic and making snide remarks. On occasion, I can be downright offensive. So, when I see that camera pointed at me, my head goes down and I start reading, which is my defensive posture – a safe mode designed to minimize risks."
Remember how William Randolph Hearst started a war with one terse telegram? Or how Edward R. Murrow ended McCarthyism with one broadcast? Both of those famous stories and others are myths, Mike Feinsilber writes in a post about American University journalism professor and myth-debunker W. Joseph Campbell, who Feinsilber says has "carved out a niche as the guy who tracks down things everyone knows to be true and proves that everyone’s wrong. He is a dedicated debunker."
For a long time, Sarah Callender was a skeptic on the subject of writer's block: "Meryl Streep doesn't suddenly find herself unable to act. Barbara Walters doesn't suddenly find herself unable to ask nosy, semi-inappropriate questions." But over time, Callender writes, she came to believe that writer's block is real: "How do I know? Because Writer's Block is almost always the result of doubt, and doubt loiters and lollygags in the heart and head of every serious writer."
Justin Ellis at the Nieman Journalism Lab reports on a change in the tax-exemption process that should make it easier for nonprofit news sites to pass muster with the Internal Revenue Service: "This month, the IRS introduced a new application that makes getting tax-exempt status not much more complicated than ordering a pizza online. What was once a 26-page form has been cut down to three, and groups will now only have to pay a $400 fee rather than $850 to apply."
Maria Popova writes about the poet xYz (Joanna Tilsley) and her meditations: "Immersed in cosmology and quantum physics at the time, she found herself enchanted by the scientific poetics of nature as she strolled around her home in North London. Translating that enchantment in lyrical form, she produced a series of thirty poems on everything from DNA to the exoplanet Keppler-62F … to holometabolism, the process by which the caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly."
The latest revelations about infectious organisms — "expired disinfectant, anthrax stored in unsecure freezers and labs, samples stored in Ziploc bags" — prompts this response from Tabitha M. Powledge: "Ziploc bags, huh? Essential equipment for 21st century life to be sure, but how many times have you opened your refrigerator to find leaks from a not-quite-ziplocked bag congealed on shelves or dribbled into your veg bin?" Plus the state of marijuana research.
What can you do when you have to send someone a large file over the Internet and it's too big to attach to an email? Is Dropbox the only alternative? Not at all, Amit Agarwal writes. For example, there's Skype: "The popular Skype app can also be used for sending documents, photos, videos and other large files of any format to your Skype contacts. Just initiate a chat session or a audio/video call with a contact and choose the Send File option to initiate a transfer."