Volunteer naturalists line up in a Seattle Park. Image by Seattle Parks & Recreation via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Thanks to a generous grant from the National Association of Science Writers Idea Grants program, we’re expanding our operations.

That means we’ll be redesigning our site and adding behind-the-scenes content about the writing and reporting of featured pieces.

It also means that we’re seeking new volunteers to join our team. (Under the terms of our current grant, we are only able to offer monetary compensation to the Grant-Writing and Design & Web Infrastructure team members at this time, but we hope to change that in the not-too-distant future.)

Open positions include:

GRANT-WRITING (monetary compensation available)


(A Highly Subjective Round-up of Standout Science News)

Header from an 1884 science magazine called Knowledge, led by British astronomer Richard Anthony Proctor. Its tagline reads: “A magazine of science: plainly worded — exactly described.” Image via Wikimedia Commons & public domain.

Late January 2017 saw a shift in science journalism so subtle that you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you make your living writing press releases. I happened to be interning in the press office of a prominent family of scientific journals that publishes basic research almost exclusively, so I felt it. And since our press office tracks the coverage of all studies from its journals, I saw data, too.

What we noticed is coverage of our papers in the first half of January 2017 looked a lot like the first half of January 2016. But on January 20, 2017, coverage…


(A Highly Subjective Round-up of Standout Science News)

A fish-eyed view of a newsstand in Paris. Photo by Mark Mitchell via Flickr & Creative Commons 2.0 License

Science writing at its best doesn’t just impart facts; it has the potential to change the way we think about issues and phenomena. And yet, the vast majority of pieces on science writing–especially the short news stories designed to be consumed on a daily basis–simply focus on telling stories to people who are already interested in science.

The shortforms–the daily news briefs, front-of-book blurbs, and succinct blog posts– are the training grounds for emerging science writing writers, but they’re also underused as a place for experimenting with new ways to convey science…


(A Highly Subjective Round-up of Standout Science News)

After nine months of searching through short science stories with an eye out for some of the best that the genre has to offer, I’ve come to a conclusion: Investigative pieces under 1200 words are rare.

Since the investigative genre often hinges on journalists showing their work and offering evidence on top of evidence on top of evidence, the relative dearth of short-n-sweet investigative pieces makes sense from a logistics perspective. …


(A Highly Subjective Round-up of Standout Science News)

The online science news ecosystem teems with blog posts and videos about animals doing interesting things. And why not? Animals are fascinating, adorable, and beloved by the science nerds who frequent science news websites. Many of those stories are well-written. So when you’re sitting down to choose “standout” shortform science writing, how do you choose between them?

News judgement”–the journalese terms for “ability to spot impactful stories”– was the subject of a lively Google Hangout debate amongst the Best Shortform Science Writing editors: Did we want to highlight the articles with the…


(A Highly Subjective Round-up of Standout Science News)

How short is a shortform piece of journalism? Under 250 words? Where does that leave all the pieces clocking in at 500, 700, or 1200 words? Those were the first questions that reared their heads when I decided to attempt to compile a list of “best” shortform science writing from the first quarter of this year.

Creating a taxonomy of short non-fiction seemed to be the way to go, but doing so proved tricky.

Science Shortform Project

The Best Shortform Science Writing project highlights standout science writing. Curated quarterly. Tag us to nominate pieces #scicomm #scistory #sciencemedia

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