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  • A fond farewell

    Diane McGurgan<br>(photo by Tom Siegfried)

    As had been announced, Diane McGurgan leaves NASW in June, after 30 years of dedicated service. At a luncheon at the ScienceWriters 2008 meeting, a couple hundred attendees gathered to honor her. The sunny patio of the Crowne Plaza hotel, in Palo Alto, was filled with longtime friends and new members, alike in their appreciation of Diane's monumental contributions to our organization. Inside the hotel, friends viewed a slideshow and wrote fond wishes in an overflowing scrapbook.

  • New home for science library

    A treasure trove on the history of science and technology has a new, permanent home on the west coast. The Burndy Library, composed of some 67,000 rare books and reference volumes, as well as a collection of scientific instruments, is now part of The Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.

  • How to write without Word

    The pathetic term "word processor" is exactly the right description for Microsoft Word. Fortunately, there are nimble alternatives for both Mac and Windows, some of them free. They all let you write without getting in your way. A few are even designed for writers.

  • Three elected AAAS fellows

    NASW members Terry Devitt, Nigel S. Hey, and S. Holly Stocking have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. All are members of Section Y (General Interest in Science and Engineering). They will receive formal recognition of this honor at a ceremony during the 2008 AAAS annual meeting, in Boston.

  • You can never go teach again

    So when the invitation to resume teaching came, I quickly accepted. Perhaps too quickly as it turned out ...

  • A poster session for the public

    Cornell University's Center for Life Science Enterprise holds a poster session each year for its grant recipients as a requirement of the funding process. This year the poster session had a different spin: Scientists presented their grant-funded research to a lay audience in the form of a contest with a handsome prize and judged by community members.

  • A different kind of journalism

    The Great Turtle Race embraced everything web. It was interactive, participatory, solution-oriented, immediately accessible, updated several times a day, visual (videos, photos, charts, maps), and animated. It seeded and linked social networking, and had lots of context and continuity. It was useful and entertaining.

  • The future of science journalism

    Stand-alone newspaper science sections rose to prominence in the late 1980s as a popular venue for in-depth science coverage, reaching a peak of 95 sections in 1989. Since then, they have been dropping in number and size, particularly among smaller papers. Those that remain have shifted dramatically toward softer consumer-oriented, "news you can use" medicine and personal health coverage and away from science topics like physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.

  • ScienceWriters: Writers and Early PCs

    The next time you curse the performance of your laptop, consider this 1979 ScienceWriters piece about the state-of-the-art in personal computing — a mere 28 years ago.

  • ScienceWriters: The Life and Death of California Wild

    In March 2006, the California Academy of Sciences closed its venerable natural history magazine, California Wild. The magazine was just six months shy of its 60th birthday.