ScienceWriters bookstore

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The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase helps support NASW programs and services. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson, Robin Marantz Henig

The best guide for teaching and learning effective science writing, this second edition of A Field Guide for Science Writers improves on the classic first edition with a wider range of topics, a new slate of writers, and an up-to-date exploration of the most stimulating and challenging issues in science.

Writers of SciLance

Not sure how to start your career as a science writer, or how to take your existing career to the next level? The Science Writers’ Handbook is here to help. In this essential guide, 35 leading science writers share their hard-won wisdom and illuminating stories, going beyond the basics to cover everything else you need to survive and thrive as a science writer.

David A. Taylor

In 1940, as German U-boats blocked ships attempting Atlantic crossings, a 15-alarm blaze at Baltimore’s Crown Cork and Seal factory consumed nine acres of baled cork, a sealant crucial to the defense industry. Was the fire caused by Nazi sabotage? In Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II, David Taylor describes this event and its impact on the lives of three men and their families

Melissa Gaskill

Perhaps 20-40 percent of worldwide tourists partake in wildlife-watching. When done right, that experience enriches travelers’ lives without interfering with those of animals. In Pandas to Penguins: Ethical Encounters with Animals at Risk, Melissa Gaskill profiles twenty-five species and one endangered ecosystem that draw tourists. She highlights local ecofriendly travel outfitters in each area.

Simson L. Garfinkel and Rachel H. Grunspan

A 1970 Monty Python sketch in which a group of Vikings chant “spam, spam…” to overwhelm conversation around them sparked use of “spam” for unsolicited email. JPEG stands for the “joint photographic experts group” that devised the now standard way to compress images. In The Computer Book, Simson Garfinkel and Rachel Grunspan provide backstories for 250 seminal events in the history of computing.

Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

In 1680, an English pirate captured a Spanish ship near Panama, neglecting a trove of unrefined silver but seizing an atlas of Pacific Ocean sailing charts and maps. On receiving it, King Charles II of England made him a captain in the Royal Navy. Betsy Mason and Greg Miller recount this and dozens of other fascinating tales in All Over the Map, illuminating worlds both real and imagined.

Deborah Blum

In the late 1800s, US consumers unwittingly bought diluted and artificially whitened milk, and canned peas and beans greened with copper sulfate. Adulterated butter, meat, and other foods sometimes proved fatal. In The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Deborah Blum chronicles the birth of federal consumer protection.

Rachel Nuwer

While Western audiences widely oppose the slaughter of wildlife and marketing of tusks, horns, and other body parts, polls show little shift in favor of conservation in Asia, Rachel Nuwer reports in Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking. Nuwer traveled to 12 countries to examine the illegal demand for wildlife and efforts underway made to halt impending species extinctions.

Marcia Bartusiak

In Dispatches from Planet 3: Thirty-Two (Brief) Tales on the Solar System, the Milky Way, and Beyond, Marcia Bartusiak describes Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s discovery of the first pulsar in 1967 (when she was 23 years old) and provides the backstory for it and other cutting-edge findings in astrophysics.