Posts Tagged ‘Notes’

Ask TON: Taking Notes Discreetly

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: When you are reporting for a narrative story, interviewing sources—say a researcher or a family—how do you take notes or record what’s going on without being obtrusive?

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 […]

Ed Yong profiles a scientific dynasty

Science is practiced by people, and people never work in isolation. Scientists train their students, who grow up to be scientists in their own right and train students to follow in their own footsteps. Along the way, scientific dynasties emerge, working together to establish new ways of thinking and applying their ideas to new problems. […]

Greg Miller examines mental health care in Indonesia

For many people in the developing world who are mentally ill, psychiatric care is little more than a prison sentence. In one corner of Indonesia, that’s beginning to change, thanks in part to the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region, providing a final impetus to develop a mental health system that had long […]

Ask TON: Organizing notes

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I have a confession. I don’t really know how to take good research notes. When I’m reporting feature stories, I end up with a stack of research papers and other materials. I read through the papers, highlighting things and maybe writing little […]

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 […]

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 […]

Taking good notes: Tricks and tools

Whether you rely on a digital recorder or a laptop or a ragtag collection of mismatched notebooks, you need to take good notes. That doesn’t just mean that your handwriting needs to be legible — though that matters too. It means that your notes capture the essence of what you have observed, from the words […]

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 […]

How Rebecca Skloot built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot needs little introduction to most readers of The Open Notebook: Her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been a bestseller since its publication in February 2010, and she has toured the U.S. and Europe almost constantly since then talking about the book and the many issues of race, science, and privacy […]

Amy Harmon follows a young autistic man into the world

On September 18, 2011, the front page of the Sunday edition of The New York Times carried a story remarkable to find in any newspaper: a 7,300-word story that was almost all narrative. Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World, written by Times staffer Amy Harmon, followed a young autistic man named Justin […]

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