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ScienceWriters, Summer 2017

Fact-checking sites find their way into science, a report on the Pacific Northwest regional PIO conference, a science writer participates in an NIH study on a baffling medical condition, Mary Roach explains why she rents an office, updates on the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, and the peril of relying on IRS publications. Full text visible to NASW members only.

From ScienceWriters: New research magazine launched

Seek magazine cover

In March, the Rockefeller University launched Seek, a new research magazine with freelance opportunities for science writers (additional info further down). Although the role of a university's research magazine is to promote its research program, Seek aims also to contribute to larger conversations — about the power of biomedicine, the ethical implications of discovery, and the role of science in society, for instance — in a meaningful way.

From ScienceWriters: Learning about lichens and deep-dive feature reporting

Amy McDermott

Amy McDermott now knows more about lichens than she ever expected to. Her Taylor/Blakeslee Project Fellowship was an introduction to deep-dive feature reporting, a chance to build relationships with U.S. Forest Service heavyweights, and a chance to chase great stories.

From ScienceWriters: World Conference in San Francisco

WCSJ2017 logo

The five-day program for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists features global issues, research topics and challenges, a chance to learn how science writing is done around the world, and a star-studded cast of headline speakers together with all the classic elements of a ScienceWriters meeting: professional development workshops, networking events, field trips, a pitch slam, and Lunch with a Scientist. The early registration discount ends on August 1.

From ScienceWriters: Conversation and storytelling connects kids with scientists

Science Storytellers participant

Jenny Cutraro writes about her work organizing Science Storytellers, an effort with the American Association for the Advancement of Science to break down barriers and getting children and scientists talking to each other.

From ScienceWriters: Budget-beleaguered IRS isn't a paper tiger

ScienceWriters Spring 2017 cover

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.


ScienceWriters, Spring 2017

Communicating science to the public under Trump; the debut of Seek magazine; why news websites should embrace https; connecting children with science via storytelling; an update on WCSJ2017; and what happens when the IRS creates a "substitute" return for you. Full text visible to NASW members only.

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.