ScienceWriters excerpts

Primary tabs

  • By the time WCSJ2011 opened in late June, organizers felt entitled to breathe a sigh of relief. The biennial international conference had come together despite a last-minute relocation from conflict-ridden Cairo, Egypt, to Doha, Qatar, and the attendees had arrived mostly without incident. All seemed well. Until about the third day. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

  • We often want to know the history of something (cars, relationships, pets) before we invest in it. Learning about the past helps us understand how things, people, and ideas got to where they are today. But often the history or story behind an idea gets left out of science writing. From the Fall 2011 ScienceWriters.

  • Not all social media are created equal for news purposes, three studies find. Rick Borchelt discusses them in "Scholarly pursuits: Academic research relevant to the workaday world of science writing." Excerpted from the Summer 2011 ScienceWriters.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.