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Social media helps solve an illness outbreak

Photo by Lynne Friedmann

By the time WCSJ2011 opened in late June, organizers felt entitled to breathe a sigh of relief. The biennial international conference had come together despite a last-minute relocation from conflict-ridden Cairo, Egypt, to Doha, Qatar, and the attendees had arrived mostly without incident. All seemed well. Until about the third day. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

Finding skeletons in the science closet

We often want to know the history of something (cars, relationships, pets) before we invest in it. Learning about the past helps us understand how things, people, and ideas got to where they are today. But often the history or story behind an idea gets left out of science writing. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

Now Tweet This! Social media and the news

Not all social media are created equal for news purposes, three studies find. Rick Borchelt discusses them in "Scholarly pursuits: Academic research relevant to the workaday world of science writing." Excerpted from the Summer 2011 ScienceWriters.

Canadian science writers protest government’s muzzling of scientists

The party leaders vying to form the next Canadian government are being urged to “take off the muzzles” from federal scientists. Emily Chung explains the details in an excerpt from the Summer 2011 ScienceWriters.

Get a handle on home-office deductions

Julian Block

Thinking of taking a home office as a tax deduction? Not so fast, says ScienceWriters columnist Julian Block. Just because you can walk 20 feet from your bedroom to your work area and conduct business in your bathrobe doesn’t mean the nook with the computer qualifies as a bona fide office. Excerpted from the Summer 2011 issue.

Deadline Tokyo: How NPR covered Japan’s disasters

Palca speaking into a USB cable instead of a microphone during a light moment.

Mobilizing to cover a complex, breaking story on the other side of the world is never easy. Doing it when reliable sources are clamming up is even harder. In this except from the Summer 2011 ScienceWriters, Joe Palca discusses how National Public Radio covered Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

Assessing the space shuttle program

Shuttle Atlantis after liftoff (NASA photo)

Americans paid dearly for the space shuttle. Was the investment worth it? George Alexander, who covered the shuttle for the Los Angeles Times from the project's initiation in 1972 until 1985, reviews the evidence for and against that proposition. Excepted from the Summer 2011 ScienceWriters.

Energetic AAAS panel highlights how science and journalism differ

An AAAS media/science panel delves into the proper role of media in convincing the public about climate change and explores differing views on what precisely makes news, helping illustrate scientists’ and media’s sometimes vast cultural differences. From the Spring 2011 ScienceWriters,

Time for change in science journalism?

Competition with Internet blogs could stir science journalists in traditional media to correct systemic faults in science reporting, says John Rennie. An excerpt from the Spring 2011 issue of ScienceWriters.

Authorship has rewards beyond royalties

Dennis Meredith

Dennis Meredith writes that Explaining Research and Working with Public Information Officers are making him more money through workshops and speaking engagements than from sales. Meredith, who created the Marketing and publishing resource on the ScienceWriters web site, offers advice on promotion and self-publishing in the Spring 2011 issue of ScienceWriters magazine, free to NASW members.