Posts Tagged ‘Drafts’

Robin Marantz Henig Examines End of Life Issues

Peggy Battin, a bioethicist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, has long believed that the chronically ill and suffering should be able to choose to end their lives. She spent decades writing about assisted suicide, euthanasia, and death with dignity. But on November 14, 2008, her intellectual pursuits became intensely personal when […]

George Johnson Chases Lightning

Some people fret over the chances that lightning might strike the same place twice. After three summers trailing lightning-chaser Tim Samaras on a unique photographic quest, science writer George Johnson would perhaps have been content with it happening just once. On assignment for National Geographic, Johnson patiently waited and watched as Samaras tried to capture a […]

Brian Vastag Profiles a Dinosaur Tracker

When Washington Post science writer Brian Vastag found Ray Stanford, an amateur dinosaur footprint tracker in the D.C. suburbs who had found an unusual baby dinosaur footprint, he thought he had stumbled upon a “nice little day story.” Soon, though, he realized that Stanford’s newest find was only the most recent chapter in a far […]

Ask TON: Is This Draft Too Long?

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: How strictly do editors expect writers to stick to the “10% rule”? How far over the assigned word count is acceptable? Do editors appreciate seeing some of that extraneous material and consider it part of their job to sift through it, or […]

Helen Pearson Profiles an Activist Turned Scientist

A good profile of a scientist goes beyond the science itself—and that’s why Helen Pearson’s ears perked up when she learned the personal story of Joe Thornton, a University of Oregon evolutionary biologist whose first career was as a Greenpeace activist, fighting the release of toxic industrial chemicals. Pearson wanted to know what makes Thornton […]

Daniel Engber Dissects the Ubiquitous Laboratory Mouse

When Slate senior editor Daniel Engber took a month off from his usual duties to research a multi-part series on laboratory mice, he had a thesis—that although the ubiquity of mice as model organisms has clear advantages, it is in some ways damaging to biomedicine. What he needed was stories and characters to hang his […]

Deborah Blum Traces a Poisonous History

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Deborah Blum’s five books have immersed her in the worlds of animal rights, the psychology of affection, the neurology of sex, the search for paranormal phenomena, and the chemistry of poisons. Her best-selling book The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, published in 2010, traces […]

Lauren Gravitz Relates Nobel Laureate Steinman’s Poignant Story

For years, journalist Lauren Gravitz had planned to write an in-depth feature on Rockefeller University physician-scientist Ralph Steinman, highlighting the dendritic cells that had been his life’s work and his efforts to use those cells to treat his own cancer. Formerly a science writer at Rockefeller, Gravitz had spoken often with Steinman and knew his […]

Erik Vance Scrutinizes a Battle over Dolphin Rights

Reporting from the trenches in the war over dolphin rights, freelance science writer Erik Vance relates the story of Lori Marino and Diana Reiss, dolphin researchers who have spent most of their careers as close colleagues and friends, but whose agendas diverged after Marino moved away from research on captive dolphins and immersed herself in a […]

Adam Rogers Shadows a Fungus Detective

For the residents of Lakeshore, Ontario, the black fungus caking their homes was a problem, and they blamed the local distillery. For James Scott, the Sherlock Holmes of fungi, the identity of the unsightly mold was a mystery waiting to be solved. And for Adam Rogers, senior editor at Wired, Scott’s quest was a story that […]

Michelle Nijhuis Searches for Hopeful Signs amid a Bat Plague

You never know when a story idea will land on your doorstep—or in your mailbox. When award-winning journalist Michelle Nijhuis learned about caver and microbiologist Hazel Barton from a friend, she had no idea Barton would be her ticket into a science story she had been itching to tell, about a fungus that is ravaging […]

Meredith Wadman Probes the Aftermath of a Shooting

On Friday, February 12, 2010, biologist Amy Bishop stood up in a conference room at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and shot six of her colleagues; three died. Nature correspondent Meredith Wadman visited the campus to recount the horror of those moments and efforts to rebuild a shattered department. [Life After Death appeared in […]

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