Posts Tagged ‘Guest Contributor’

Writing revealing stories based on unreliable sources

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  This conversation began with another one. And that one began with a reprinted chapter of Will Storr’s book on people who were unpersuadable — that is, whose beliefs didn’t match agreed-upon reality but were nonetheless fixed. In this chapter, excerpted in Matter as “The Itch Nobody Can Scratch,” the fixed beliefs people had were that […]

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#$%^* this: What else are my skills good for?

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We science writers are so lucky to have a site like The Open Notebook working overtime to make us the best science writers we can be. Yes, it’s extremely important to carefully nurture our craft, so that we can use those skills … in some other line of work. Any other line of work. I […]

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Jon Mooallem uncovers a wild plan to bring hippopotamus ranching to America

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Jon Mooallem is fascinated by the relationships between humans and other animals, a topic he explores in his 2013 book Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America. Mooallem is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and a frequent contributor to other magazines […]

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Data Journalism: A Primer for Science Journalists

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Did you ever know someone who was devastatingly handsome, made great conversation and whom everybody talked about even after he left the room? That’s kind of how I think about good computer-assisted reporting (CAR), also often referred to as data journalism. These projects turn spreadsheets into insightful infographics, support stories with concrete context, get passed […]

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Track changes: Making the switch from writer to editor

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  Writers and editors don’t always see eye-to-eye. Sometimes those differences can make it feel like they simply don’t understand each other. But many editors come to their jobs after spending many years as writers, and they bring that experience with them when they take on their new roles. Last week, five writers-turned-editors participated in […]

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Christie Wilcox gets a taste of the Atlantic lionfish invasion

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The lionfish, a common aquarium fish native to the Indo-Pacific region, has become an invasive species in the Caribbean and southern U.S. Atlantic coast, where its voracious appetite for young grouper and snapper is endangering populations of these economically-important food fish. One proposed solution is to encourage people to harvest and eat lionfish. Christie Wilcox is a science writer and  Ph.D. […]

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Brendan Koerner storyboards a hijacking tale

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During the late 1960s and early 1970s, hijackers commandeered U.S. flights on an almost regular basis. And the hijackers themselves were usually American: often idealistic and sometimes mentally unstable protesters, or, later, the down-and-out intent on ransom. Airlines treated the phenomena a cost of doing business. A few years ago, Brendan Koerner discovered this episode in […]

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The XX question

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Last spring, a series of informal conversations on the status of women in science writing led to a decision that the timing was right for a more structured, in person conversation on the subject. The result was a session pitched to and approved by the National Association of Science Writers for this year’s annual meeting. Titled “The […]

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How to ace a 300-word story: An interview with Roy Peter Clark

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It happens again and again: The assignment calls for 300 words. I write the perfect story — in 800 words. Then I’m fighting to cut the damned thing down to size. My search for a better way led me to writing coach and Poynter Institute scholar Roy Peter Clark’s newest book, How to Write Short: […]

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Pictures and Prose: When photographers and writers work together

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Dominic Bracco photographs fishermen after a long day of work on the eastern Sea of Cortez. * Modern journalism was built on teams of photographers and writers heading off together to report stories back to the reader in pictures and prose. We asked a roundtable of writers, editors and photographers to discuss the value of […]

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Robin Marantz Henig examines end of life issues

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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 […]

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The big leap: From article to book

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Hannah Nordhaus’s 2011 book The Beekeeper’s Lament tells the story of troubled honeybees through one beekeeper. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments is George Johnson’s look at … well, 10 beautiful science experiments. In The Sports Gene, David Epstein examines the debate over nature vs. nurture in the world of sports. These books all have something […]

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