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ScienceWriters meeting coverage

Using art to communicate science

Using art to communicate science session at ScienceWriters2015

Liz Neeley draws inspiration from an atypical source: the comedian Jon Stewart. In particular, the artist and Story Collider executive director enjoys reliving a moment in 2006 when Stewart appeared on the television show Crossfire. “Here’s just what I wanted to tell you guys,” Stewart told hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. “You need to stop hurting America.”

Other stories: Exploring alternative narratives

Other stories session at ScienceWriters2015

Bird flu in Southeast Asia, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, infections transferred in hospitals and AIDS in the rural south. Facts are only part of these stories. When told from the perspective of the people impacted by the facts, science stories come alive and may even catalyze change.

Use with no abuse: Copyright

After the briefest of encounters with legalese, I feel two things: happiness about having never become a lawyer, and gratitude towards anyone who will explain it to me in straightforward terms.

Covering public controversies about science topics

Covering public controversies about science topics session at ScienceWriters2015

If there was one take-home message from the workshop on Covering Controversies, it might be that science journalists have the obligation to investigate whether something is a legitimate controversy — and if it’s not, the obligation to avoid covering it at all.

What every editor needs to know

What every editor needs to know session at ScienceWriters2015

What makes a good editor and how do you become one? In a packed room at the annual NASW conference, four science editors discussed that question, as well as an editor’s duties, the relationship between editors and writers, and the ethical challenges editors regularly face.

Sex, death, and privacy: Reporting in the first person

Sex, death, and privacy session at ScienceWriters2015

After Melinda Wenner Moyer’s son was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, she wrote an article called “My Son Has a Disorder that May Not Exist” for Scientific American Mind. She struggled, though, with whether to include her actual son and their family’s actual story. While their experiences were the motivation for exploring this topic, she worried that he could later be discriminated against because of the article (or mocked by his peers when they learned how to Google). In the end, she and her editors decided to use his real identity in the print version but an alias in the immortal online text.

DIY publishing — Does it yield?

DIY publishing session at ScienceWriters2015

From starting your own podcast to self-publishing an e-book, sometimes a science writer just feels the need to go it alone. Although it can be a challenge to make such ventures turn a profit, they can be worthwhile, said panelists during a session titled "DIY publishing — Does it yield?" held during the Science Writers 2015 Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

Video from ScienceWriters2014

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NASW members can access selected video of workshop sessions from the ScienceWriters2014 conference. Members can read more for the link and access code. Anyone can view highlight videos produced by the dynamic duo of Did Someone Say Science on their YouTube channel.

When science writing gets political

ScienceWriters2014 logo

Science writers may think they're above politics, but issues like climate change and Ebola prove them wrong. Four leading science writers discussed the problem at ScienceWriters2014 and David Levine recaps: "The basic message the panelists had for the writers was that when a story goes political, they had to get out of their comfort zone of writing "nice" articles about scientific research and breakthroughs and be part of the bigger picture."

ScienceWriters2014 highlights

Thanks to Did Someone Say Science, you can now relive ScienceWriters2014 or see what you missed in Columbus. Visit their YouTube page for videos, which include a highlights reel and interviews with panelists, presenters, and attendees. NASW travel fellows also crafted reports on individual workshops, student journalists covered New Horizons in Science sessions, and you can look back at #sciwri14 for tweets galore. Select sessions were videoed for release here or via CASW at a later date.