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From ScienceWriters: New director at UC Santa Cruz

Erika Check Hayden photo

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.

From ScienceWriters: Tax reporting for fellowship awards

ScienceWriters Winter 2016-17 cover

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.

From ScienceWriters: Communicating science in the clickbait era

ScienceWriters Winter 2016-17 cover

Scientists and professionals at research institutions eager to inform the public about their work need to go where the readers or, increasingly, the viewers are. Instead of driving traffic to their websites, a panel of public information officers, editors, and journalists recommend creating science content specifically for use on Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media outlets.

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ScienceWriters, Winter 2016-17

Coverage of ScienceWriters2016 in San Antonio, Texas; a new director for the University of California at Santa Cruz science communication program; the David Perlman WCSJ2017 Travel Fellowship Fund for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco; communicating science in the clickbait era; and reducing taxes on your fellowship income. Full text visible to NASW members only.

From ScienceWriters: Asheville conference report

ScienceWriters Fall 2016 cover

Two dozen print and electronic journalists from across the Southeast got a glimpse of what’s coming next in the climate story during Measure Globally, Respond Locally, a mini-conference held August 15 and 16 in Asheville, N.C.

From ScienceWriters: A tool that will make life easier for FOIA reporters

ScienceWriters Fall 2016 cover

If confusion is the first step to knowledge, FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) users must be geniuses. Fee categories. Pre-determination agency actions. Multitrack processing. Administrative appeals. Glomar responses. In some ways, the FOIA is as impenetrable as it is helpful, but a new resource wants to change all that: FOIA Wiki, which launched in beta Oct. 3.

From ScienceWriters: Five days, five science plays

ScienceWriters Fall 2016 cover

Seattle-based science writers and playwrights collaborated to produce theatrical works in a week. “Theatre is where we come together as a society to do our collective thinking,” said David Mills, artistic director of Infinity Box. “Theatrical stories help us think ahead about the human consequences of changes driven by science and technology.

From ScienceWriters: Rule changes for Social Security taxes

ScienceWriters Fall 2016 cover

Writers know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare, overhauled the rules for medical insurance. What they might not know is that the ACA’s overhaul also changes some tax laws. Julian Block provides details.

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ScienceWriters, Fall 2016

Commentaries on the proposed NASW constitutional amendment; NASW Board election results for 2016-18; science writers and playwrights collaborate in Seattle; 2016 Science in Society Awards, Clark/Payne and Victor Cohn Prize winners; a rundown on self-employment taxes; the birth of FOIA Wiki; and the death of SciLogs. Full text visible to NASW members only.

From ScienceWriters: Writers need to focus more on tax planning

ScienceWriters Summer 2016 cover

It's a mistake to think of taxes as a once-a-year affliction caused by the need to grapple with 1040 forms or to assemble records for a paid tax preparer. Federal and state tax planning needs to be a year-round concern on par with ongoing business and personal financial planning.