Since its inception in 2010, more than $400,000 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, 2015.
A neologism is a newly coined word or phrase, and Matthew Crowley writes that lexicographer Erin McKean, a former Oxford University Press editor-in-chief, has started a web site to keep track of them: ”People often come up to me and say, ‘I went to look up this word and it wasn’t in the dictionary,’” McKean says. ”And often that breaks my heart, because the word that they’re interested in is a perfectly good word, a perfectly cromulent word, a great word oftentimes.”
Our conference travel fellows have been filing reports on sessions from ScienceWriters2015, which began Friday in Cambridge, Mass. If you were not among the 800 people (a record!) who registered for the conference, you can see what you missed on our conference reports page.
The Washington Post'sDavid Finkel discusses his pair of books on the Iraq War in an appearance at the Nieman Foundation: "The thing I want to emphasize, all of this stuff, whatever you might think of writing or longform writing or 'feature writing' or immersion writing, the term I prefer is reporting. Every sentence in this book is, first and foremost, an act of and a result of reporting. Every line in this book, there’s nothing assumed. There’s nothing imagined."
Science says that using bullets in your PowerPoint slides actually makes it less likely that your audience will remember what you've said, Leslie Belknap writes. Turns out it's hard to read and listen at the same time: "When presenters minimize the cognitive exertion required to absorb the information by avoiding long lists of text on their slides, audience members are able to use their remaining cognitive capabilities to actually process the information being presented."t
Sadie Stein gets too many online newsletters in her inbox and she blames herself — or at least her hoarder-like inability to let go of them: "There are the discount offers, of course. Don’t we all get those? Dirt-cheap massages! Flash sales! Exorbitant shoes made merely overpriced! And wait — the sale has been extended! Here’s the Project Runway contestant you started following nine years ago because you were so moved by his tears when he was told to pack his things."
Longtime New York Times sportswriter Gerald Eskenazi discusses some of his hardest interviews and how he got winning quotes from some of the sports world's surliest stars: "As a sportswriter, about half the time I was interviewing someone who’d just lost. So sportswriters must have — or at least show — some empathy. And yet you’ve got to ask questions that could be embarrassing or even highlight the subject’s weakness. The point is that you need a response, a quote."
Submitted by Lynne Lamberg on Wed, 10/07/2015 - 08:12
In Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures, Arlene Weintraub describes promising collaborative research on cancers that are similar in dogs and humans, including gastric cancer, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, breast cancer, and melanoma. Benefits from this research, Weintraub reports, include new medications benefiting both people and pets. Spurred by the death of her sister, Beth, from gastric cancer at age 47, Weintraub visited eight universities and interviewed veterinarians, oncologists and other scientists, as well as drug company executives, pet owners, and others.
Devon Maloney gave up the freelancing life for her dream job as a pop music editor at one of the nation's biggest newspapers. Four months later she quit. Maloney writes that she isn't second-guessing her decision: "When I left, I had little to no nest-egg to live on. I had a few prospects, but nothing sustainable. Now I’m up to my ears in credit-card debt. I haven’t received a paycheck in weeks. I also can’t recall a time in my adult life when I’ve been happier."
Colin Dwyer traces the history of the book-cover blurb back to an approving note written by Ralph Waldo Emerson to a then-barely-known Walt Whitman upon the publication of Leaves of Grass. Dwyer also discusses the burden of blurbing for its busiest producers: "Some writers report receiving up to five unsolicited galleys in the mail a day, a deluge that's prompted plenty to swear off blurbing altogether. It also prompts a question: How do all the other blurbers do it?"