Since its inception in 2010, more than $450,000 has been awarded by NASW's Peggy Girshman 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.
Despite continuous cuts in IRS budgets and shrinking staffs, the agency remains able to deal with taxpayers who fail to file returns. Internal Revenue Code Section 6020 allows the IRS to complete returns and make assessments for taxes, penalties for failing to file, and for late payment of taxes and interest charges.
My grandmother sprinkled salt on her grapefruit. As a child, I reached for the sugar. In Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense, Bob Holmes explains why my grandmother made a wiser choice: salty tastes inhibit bitter ones. Most people, Holmes says, know little about the complex interplay of taste, smell, touch, sight, and even expectation that creates flavor sensations. We can learn to improve our everyday flavor experiences, however, Holmes asserts. It’s worth the effort, he says: “Paying attention to flavor makes life not just richer but deeper.”
When drugs deemed potentially useful for medical treatment in published research papers advance into pharmaceutical testing regimes, nine out of ten fail. That’s because the underlying science wasn’t rigorous, writes Richard Harris, long-time NPR science correspondent and NASW’s president in 1997-98. In Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions, Harris explores recent efforts to air and address the reproducibility crisis.
Veteran science journalist Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter for Nature and a longtime lecturer in the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, became the program’s third director in January. Check Hayden was selected by a committee of UCSC faculty and alumni after a national search. She succeeds current director Robert Irion, who is retiring from the university after leading the program for 10 years.
As a 23-year-old postgraduate student working with Edward Teller in 1951, Richard Garwin came up with the design that led to the hydrogen bomb, Joel Shurkin reports. Outside of a small group in Los Alamos, however, Garwin’s role was completely unknown, Shurkin asserts in True Genius: The Life and Work of Richard Garwin, The Most Influential Scientist You Never Heard of. Garwin’s other inventions include air traffic control systems and the first laser printer. Of the bomb, Shurkin notes, Garwin once said, “If I had a magic wand, I would make it go away.”
Congratulations, you’ve been awarded a fellowship to the tune of $10,000. Don’t lose part of the largess by needlessly overpaying your self-employment tax. While you’re liable for income taxes on the $10,000, you’re not liable for self-employment taxes on the amount. How come? Because, like other writers, you aren’t in the business of receiving fellowships.
“Urban walking is simply the best way to get to know a place and to develop deeper connections to its story,” David Williams insists. In Seattle Walks, he provides 18 maps and 50 color illustrations for walks in his home town that take readers to such sites as a downtown building with dozens of carved faces, an unexpected Civil War cemetery, Seattle’s most infamous lost ship, and one of the city’s earliest houses of ill-repute. Seattle visitors and armchair travelers will enjoy tagging along.
Lane DeGregory spent months watching Ted Andrews, an 81-year-old artist with ALS, as he struggled along with his wife, Carolyn, to maintain control of the end of his life. DeGregory writes about her reporting process for the Tampa Bay Times story: "We had to learn to be patient, listen to the same stories five or six times, let him have his say, lay his legacy – then gently steer him back to what we needed to ask."
More than 40 years after the final Apollo missions, it's prime time for deep space travel again, and Mars is in our sights, Tabitha M. Powledge writes: "There’s a planet that’s truly nearby, one that with some work could sustain life-as-we-know it, one with water and enough sunlight for food crops, one that, with some improvements in current spacecraft technologies, we could get to after a journey of only nine months or so and within the lifetimes of most of us."