The National Association of Science Writers is pleased to announce our fifth round of Career Grants. Since 2009, over $100,000 has been distributed to help established science writers advance their careers. Apply by the end of the day, April 30, 2015.
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.
Even if her story was killed by the magazine that solicited it, Jen A. Miller says that freelancing is better than people say: "It’s the original entrepreneurial journalism, and if you can treat it like the business that it is, and have the right personality for what can be a screwball of a way to make a living, it’s far more rewarding – intellectually and financially – than a spot in a newsroom cubicle could ever provide." Q&A with the author.
Fluoridated water is a "a public health quagmire" where the important questions might seem long-settled. But now HealthNewsReview.org has posted a guest review of a Newsweek article on a study suggesting a link between fluoridation and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Canadian pharmaceutical policy researcher Alan Cassels writes: "One thing is for sure: this study reminds us that what we know, or think we know, about public health measures might be wrong."
Before you can spread your idea at a TED conference, you have to present it to some coaches. One of them, Gina Barnett, offers 11 tips for speakers at the high-profile meetings or any other event: "You may forget a word; someone may drop something backstage; there might be a technical difficulty. Take a moment, breathe deeply and just roll with it. As one TED speaker laughed today as her slides spiraled out of order in rehearsal: 'It’s just about having fun, right?'"
Few people spend more time at writers' conferences than Roy Peter Clark, who offers some tips for making them pay: "I remember seeing the late great Richard Ben Cramer sitting on a rug looking over the story written by a young writer he had just met. He’d do it for hours. I saw Norman Mailer sitting alone at a table. I approached him politely, asked him a question about one of his essays, and got a warm response." This year's best conferences.
Apple's new wearable devices dominated the tech news last week, and Tabitha M. Powledge writes about medical privacy issues that may result from their widespread use: "Apple proclaims proudly that it will not see your data, but keeping data anonymous will also be a challenge for the research projects that receive it." Also, the New York Times flubs a story on the health effects of non-ionizing radiation from wearable devices and cell phones, and the experts open fire.
Public radio has relied on philanthropy for years. but for mainstream journalism, foundation money is a recent development, one that can raise questions about the source's motives and the recipient's neutrality, Lene Bech Sillesen writes: "When a funder and his or her funded reporting come down on the same side of an issue, even if completely arbitrarily, it’s no surprise that people start questioning the difference between sponsored reporting and sponsored content."
In March 2011, High Country News was awarded a $2,500 NASW Idea Grant to fund customized, in-depth training in investigative reporting techniques for its editorial staff. In the summer of 2011, Doug Haddix of Investigative Reporters and Editors spent two days at the magazine’s headquarters in Paonia, Colo., and gave a crash course in investigative story planning and execution. For some HCN writers and editors, it was a useful introduction to investigative reporting; for others, a welcome refresher.