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From ScienceWriters: What is "Jeopardy!"?

ScienceWriters Summer 2015 cover

On March 10, at a massive sound stage here in the heart of Los Angeles, Alex Trebek stared down three contestants on the game show "Jeopardy!" The legendary host has presided over the TV show for 31 years, and that day he read off the following clue, which also appeared on a blue screen behind him: This condition has doubled in the last 30 years in U.S. kids & is linked to increased risk for diabetes.

From ScienceWriters: Letter of final instructions

ScienceWriters Summer 2015 cover

When you decide it’s time to write your will or update it, it’s also time to prepare a “letter of instructions.” Ignore the legalese. The letter is an informal document that spells out where you keep important personal papers and what your assets are, among other things.

From ScienceWriters: The chocolate diet hoax

ScienceWriters Summer 2015 cover

This spring brought a bounty of dubious headlines. There was the mildly outrageous claim that NASA secretly invented warp drive and the more believable one that using gay canvassers changed minds on gay marriage. And we heard a claim by journalist John Bohannon that he “fooled millions” with a hoax alleging that chocolate aided weight loss.

From ScienceWriters: Dialogue and drama at WCSJ2015

ScienceWriters Summer 2015 cover

WCSJ2015 provided a forum for science journalism to discuss the demands of our changing times, forge new and renewed professional networks, and savor Korean culture. Undeterred by an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the 9th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) took place June 8 to 12, in Seoul, South Korea.

From ScienceWriters: ScienceWriters2015 meeting preview

ScienceWriters Summer 2015 cover

Your friends at NASW, CASW, and Knight Science Journalism at MIT are hard at work on ScienceWriters2015, which lands in Cambridge, Mass., on Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 9 to 13. For a sneak preview of the meeting, read more. Full conference agenda and registration details available now at

From ScienceWriters: Dispatch from the Pacific

ScienceWriters Spring 2015 cover

"We moved three times the first 10 years, and, honestly, it posed no hardship because two moves brought us to the vicinity of Washington, D.C., where there’s a large science writing community, as well as lots of writing jobs that generally pay well," Brittany Moya del Pino writes. "However, when we moved to the Hawaiian island of Oahu last summer, the situation was quite different. This is the story of how I’ve been dealing with that difference, which at times was so great that it felt as if I had moved to a foreign country."


ScienceWriters, Summer 2015

A preview of ScienceWriters2015 in Cambridge, Mass., and reviews of WCSJ2015 in Seoul, with the threat of MERS looming and a Nobel laureate making news with his remarks about women; Faye Flam critiques John Bohannon's chocolate diet sting; why every writer should have a letter of final instruction and what needs to be in it; how the Jeopardy television game show makes sure it's getting the science right; and what software is best for organizing a book. Full text visible to NASW members only.

From ScienceWriters: On the coverage of BICEP2

ScienceWriters Spring 2015 cover

What happens when you cross a beloved and compelling theory, a bevy of intensely competitive experiments on a highly technical subject, with a top-secret press conference, tight deadlines, and the desire to tell an exciting story? Perhaps you get the ascent and fall of BICEP2.

From ScienceWriters: ScienceWriters2015 and WCSJ2017

ScienceWriters Spring 2015 cover

Cambridge, Mass., isn’t simply the home of top research universities like MIT and Harvard. Acre for acre, the Kendall Square area around MIT boasts the highest density of academic, corporate, and startup R&D activity in the world. The Brookings Institution calls Kendall Square “today’s iconic innovation district.” All of which makes it the perfect setting for ScienceWriters2015, coming to MIT Oct. 9-13. Also, NASW and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing will host the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in fall 2017 in San Francisco.

From ScienceWriters: Scholarly Pursuits

ScienceWriters Spring 2015 cover

"There has been a spate of research papers recently about how and why different audiences acquire and react to news; sometimes about science and sometimes about news more generally," Rick Borchelt writes. "Two captured my attention for what they can offer science communicators as we daily confront changes in the news landscape."