We Remember: NASW Pens at Rest (2024)

"We Remember / Pens at Rest" is a department originating in NASW's ScienceWriters magazine, remembering NASW members and other notable names special to the NASW community. The following include those who passed in 2024, or whose passing was made known to us this calendar year. List is by first name alphabetical order.

Photo of Joan Hollobon smiling and looking up from magazines and mail. Photo courtesy of S W C C
Joan Hollobon, OC
Died April 3, 2024
Obituary: The Globe and Mail

Joan May Hollobon, Officer of the Order of Canada, died at the age of 104 on April 3. Hollobon was a lifetime member of the National Association of Science Writers and one of the founders of the Canadian Science Writers' Association — today known as the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC). Hollobon wrote for The Globe and Mail from 1956 to 1985, and for this service to Canadian science and medical journalism, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019.

Pippa Wysong, NASW member and Toronto-based freelance medical and science writer, writes: "She was 104 years of age when she passed. Joan was a friend and role model who inspired me to go into the field I'm in. She was a good writer who chased the facts. I've heard her at press conferences challenge researchers for sloppy work, and praise those whose studies were impeccable. She was feisty and didn't hold back. She was also a founder of the Canadian Science Writers' Association and thus a member of the original NASW Canadian Section. Joan broke a lot of territory as one of the early women in journalism, working in a field that was then a man's profession. She had a high standard of ethics and challenged people if she saw conflicts of interest or bad behaviour. The world needs more like her. She'll be missed."

Jon Franklin
Died Jan. 21, 2024
Obituary: Washington Post, Nieman Storyboard

Jon Franklin, veteran journalist and journalism professor, died at the age of 82 on Jan. 21. Franklin was a former NASW board member. Beginning his reporting career in the U.S. Navy and rising to prominence with the Baltimore Evening Sun, Franklin penned the manual Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by a Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner in 1986. Franklin's second career in journalism instruction began with Oregon State University and then University of Oregon. Following a stop with the Raleigh News & Observer, Franklin became the inaugural Merrill Chair in Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Karen H. Kaplan
Died Nov. 26, 2023
Obituary: The Day

Karen H. Kaplan, who worked at Nature since 2008 and was a senior editor, died on Nov. 26, 2023. Kaplan was a colleague to members of the NASW community, and she herself had covered pharmaceutical industry news for The Day (New London, Conn.) and as as an editor for Physics Today, among other stops in her journalism career.

Maya Pines Froomkin
Died June 16, 2024
Obituary: The Washington Post

Maya Pines, noted journalist and author specializing in the psychological sciences, died on June 16. Pines' bylines spanned Life, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post Book Review. She was a staff writer at The New York Times, a contributing editor to Psychology Today, and for 11 years served as senior science editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Beryl Benderly, NASW member and freelance health and science journalist, writes: "Maya was a role model for me long before I ever met me, and remained so as I got to know her here in the D.C. writing community. I wanted to write like her, with accuracy, insight and clarity, making difficult concepts and topics accessible to general readers without dumbing anything down. Beyond that, she was helpful and generous and kind, for example going out of her way to steer me toward a valuable assignment because she believed I needed work. My admiration for her only grew over the years."

Portrait photo of Paul Raeburn wearing glasses, smiling
Paul Raeburn
Died April 17, 2024
Obituary: CASW, Associated Press, Greenwich Village Funeral Home

Paul Raeburn, longtime science journalist and book author, died on April 18. Raeburn was a former NASW board member and served as NASW president from 2001-02. Notable among his newsroom tenures, Raeburn served as science writer and then science editor at Business Week, chief science correspondent and science editor at Associated Press, and media critic and chief media critic for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Knight Science Journalism Tracker. Raeburn also held leadership positions with the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), serving as a CASW board member from the late 1980s until 2004, including a nine-year stint as CASW treasurer.

Know of a member of our NASW community who recently passed? Wishing to pen an additional tribute to this colleague or mentor? Please forward us a published obituary, your own personal tribute, and/or information forwarded with permission by the family of the departed. Write to editor@nasw.org and upload photos to bit.ly/naswpicsubmit

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