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From ScienceWriters: The polls are in

In the circles in which we run we have seen the results of polls that seek to tease out how the public perceives science and scientists. For this edition of Scholarly Pursuits, we are taking a look at one of these polls as well as exploring some recent papers that seek to elucidate how and why people perceive science in certain ways. From the Winter 2011-12 ScienceWriters.

From ScienceWriters: Amending tax returns

An accommodating Internal Revenue Service makes it relatively easy to correct mistakes on previous returns without the need to completely redo the returns or go through any complicated red tape. From the Winter 2011-12 ScienceWriters.

Science and risk communication: Two peas in a pod or Mars and Venus?

There is a good deal of academic research that focuses on risk communication, social construction of risk, and how certain theories apply to communicating with specific populations about specific issues. We saw several papers over the last few months that really help provide some context about the world views of our audiences. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

Mistakes in scientific studies surge

When a study is retracted, “it can be hard to make its effects go away,” says Sheldon Tobe, a kidney-disease specialist at the University of Toronto. And that’s more important today than ever because retractions of scientific studies are surging. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

Arab-Israeli tensions caused disruptions

By all accounts, WCSJ2011 was an impressive feat, marking the first iteration of the conference hosted by an Arab nation. But behind the scenes, political problems caused extensive debate and several disruptions. The inclusion of U.S.-Israeli journalist Anna Wexler on a panel caused divisions within the Arab Science Journalists Association (ASJA), a co-sponsor of the conference. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

From freelance journalist to digital entrepreneur

The digital media age serves up uncertainty as well as opportunity. One solution to the anemic job pool for science writers is to grow beyond journalism into entrepreneurship, specifically into digital publishing. Training for this kind of career growth is exactly what the Knight Digital Media Center offers in its intensive, weeklong workshop called Independent Journalist. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

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.