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ScienceWriters magazine

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.

New books by members and others

Reviews and "buy now" links for eight new books have been posted in the ScienceWriters Bookstore, including the story of a renegade physician named Jean Denis, who transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen in 1867 and was charged with murder, and two works on global climate change. Use the search box on the Bookstore page to buy these books or anything sold at Your purchases through this site help fund NASW programs and services.

Now available: Spring 2011 ScienceWriters

The Spring 2011 issue of ScienceWriters is now available for downloading in PDF format in the members area. Included is a story in which author Dennis Meredith shares his cash flow report. Also, the differences between science and journalism; lower self-employment taxes for 2011; and how science blogs could improve traditional science reporting.

A peek inside The Open Notebook

The philosophy behind The Open Notebook web site: Despite the shifting marketplace for science journalism, expert craftsmanship still matters. The ability to recognize and sell important stories, ask incisive questions about complex subjects, and tell accurate, compelling stories — on shorter deadlines and with fewer reporting and editorial resources than ever before — is more vital than ever to success.

The science beat: Riding a wave, going somewhere

About four and a half years ago I became a different kind of science writer. My beat went from writing about science to writing about other science writers. Monday through Friday I’m up before dawn, blogging by about 7 a.m., and at around noon I send off from my home in California a compilation of impressions of what I’ve found in breaking news and occasionally in feature writing.