On October 29 NASW members will vote on a proposed amendment to the NASW constitution that would change the qualifications for the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. A lot of discussion has been prompted by this amendment, and we'd like to give the ongoing conversation a home on the NASW web site so as many people as possible, members and non-members alike, can engage in the discussion about issues that affect our community. Read more for background and to comment.
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.
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.
The odds are pretty long that Melania Trump's speech wasn't plagiarized, Tabitha M. Powledge writes, but does the rest of the world even care about that? "The Melania/Michelle event spawned posts arguing that copying the work of others is no big deal in many countries, and sometimes even encouraged. The idea that appropriating the words and work of others is sinful is a recent and specifically American invention." Also, norovirus afflicts the RNC California delegation.
Brian Trench, an Irish "researcher, evaluator, and trainer" and president of the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology, sounds off on the debate over the boundaries of journalism: "Some observers and practitioners limit 'science communication' to science promotion. That also remains a part of the total mix, but only a part. It is disappointing that some of our nearest neighbours think of science communication in these restrictive ways."
Geoffrey K. Pullum takes on the paragons of grammar advice, Strunk and White, and their guide The Elements of Style: "Almost every single generalization it makes about the form of sentences is false, and not just because of ignorance or mendacity: the authors simply didn't care whether their drivel was false or not … It is tragic that America's perverted and abusive love affair with it has caused it to be pressed into the hands of so many millions of undergraduates."
If you've ever been confused by the definitions of mean, median, or mode, this series of cartoons from Ben Orlin, a British math teacher, will probably just confuse you even more. Titled "Why not to trust statistics," the cartoons consist of a series of statements like "our average starting salary is $80,000 per year," followed by a graph of the data behind the statistics, showing (in this case) that one outlier severely skewed the average.
Health News Review examines stories from the Associated Press and Reuters on a new stent for treating coronary artery disease. The reviewers praise the AP version but not the Reuters story: "Its almost giddy approach to the FDA announcement belies the fact that long-term safety and efficacy data are not yet in hand. Put another way, no one yet knows if these dissolvable stents will make a practical difference in heart disease patient outcomes."
From a 1975 interview of Nora Ephron by legendary Chicago author Studs Terkel on "gender, politics, and the journalistic responsibility of ending the gaslighting of women," Maria Popova excerpts some of Ephron's thoughts: "I’ve never believed in objective journalism — and no one who is a journalist in his or her right mind does — because all writing is about selecting what you want to use. And as soon as you choose what to select, you’re not being objective."