Class Topics

February 04, 2006

A course in science writing can include instruction on everything from embargoes to statistics. Follow this link for suggestions.

The NASW quarterly newsletter ScienceWriters provides a wealth of material that addresses many of the topics below. NASW maintains an archive of ScienceWriters that's available to NASW members. (Requires NASW member login and password.) Have a topic to add to this list? Send us email.

Journals: their role, power, and internal politics:

  • Altman L (1996). The Ingelfinger rule, embargoes, and journal peer review-part 1. Lancet; 347: 1382-86.
  • Altman L (1996a). The Ingelfinger rule, embargoes, and journal peer review-part 2. Lancet; 347: 1459-63.
  • "Seminar Addresses Media Coverage of Journal Articles: Invited review of Columbia University School of Journalism's Seminar "Breakthrough? The science and politics of medical journalism," CBE Views (Council of Biology Editors), Vol. 22, No 4, p. 117. (1999).
  • "The Hippocratic Wars," by Ellen Ruppell Shell; The New York Times, June 28, 1998.
  • The Aftermath of the JAMA Fiasco: Medicine, Politics, and the Scope of Medical Journals, by Leigh Turner, PhD and Jennifer Gold; The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


Ingelfinger rule

See Altman's Lancet articles.


See Altman's Lancet articles.


Astroturf organizations (Seemingly grass-roots organizations with a cause that are actually sponsored and/or run by a corporate entity)

Corporate influence over scientific research

How to cover a scientific meeting

"Getting the Scoop at Scientific Meetings," BioMedNet


  • "Just Checking," by Jay Matthews, The New Republic, May 18, 1992, p.14
  • "Perils and Pitfalls of science reporting," by Stu Borman, Chemical and Engineering News, Jan 26, 1998, p. 37
  • "To send or not to send," by John Dudley Miller