A Field Guide for Science Writers / Edition 1

A Field Guide for Science Writers / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Deborah Blum
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195100689

ISBN-13: 9780195100686

Pub. Date: 03/20/1997

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA


"Science writing offers some wonderful adventures," notes Patrick Young, a former editor of Science News. "I've visited the South pole, stared into a steaming volcano, covered the first human landing on the moon, and dived with an underwater archaeology team investigating an old fur trade route." But as Young readily admits, science writing is, above all,…  See more details below

Overview


"Science writing offers some wonderful adventures," notes Patrick Young, a former editor of Science News. "I've visited the South pole, stared into a steaming volcano, covered the first human landing on the moon, and dived with an underwater archaeology team investigating an old fur trade route." But as Young readily admits, science writing is, above all, an adventure of the mind. It is in fact probably the most fascinating beat in journalism, spanning everything from new advances in cancer treatment and the depletion of the ozone layer, to dinosaurs, black holes in space, human evolution, animal behavior, and much more besides. What science writers ultimately cover--and convey to the reading public--is the forefront of human knowledge, the leading edge of our understanding of the universe and of ourselves.
Now, in A Field Guide for Science Writers, the official guide of the National Association of Science Writers, budding journalists and veteran reporters have a superb roadmap to this exciting area of journalism. Here some three dozen of the best known science writers in America share their hard-earned knowledge on how they do their job. Boyce Rensberger describes how he covers stories for the Washington Post; two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and New York Times reporter John Noble Wilford outlines the pitfalls and rewards of writing full-length books on scientific topics; NPR's Ira Flatow tells how radio pieces combine ambient sounds, music, voices, and facts to create a mental picture and evoke the feeling of "being there"; and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, author of the best-selling The Coming Plague, discusses how to cover, and survive, a deadly epidemic. Each article brims with detailed, nuts-and-bolts information. For instance, Mary Knudson prints a section of a piece she has published, and then explains point by point how she researched every detail. Victor Cohn provides six tests to help reporters discern between probable facts and probable trash. And Sandra Blakeslee, a freelance writer who reports regularly for the New York Times, discusses covering the field of neuroscience: what you should know, which books give you a good background knowledge, which courses might help, which meetings to attend, which journals to read. In addition, readers will learn how newspaper writing differs from magazine stories, books, and science journals; how to tell a good story, use sources, do investigative reporting, write a solid but interesting op-ed piece or science column; how to translate a highly technical journal article; how to pitch ideas to magazine editors; and how to find ideas. Finally, a superb appendix offers a goldmine of resources for science writers, including both general sources of information as well as sources in fields such as anthropology, earth sciences, the environment, health and medicine, and technology.
A Field Guide for Science Writers gathers together insights and tips, personal stories and lessons of some of America's best-known science writers, men and women who work for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Time Magazine, Science, Science News, National Public Radio, and other eminent news outlets. Filled with wonderful anecdotes and down-to-earth, practical information, it is both illuminating and a pleasure to read. If you want to be a science writer, this book will be your bible.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195100686
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/20/1997
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.94(d)
Lexile:
1230L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Editor's Note
1Introduction3
2Covering Science for Newspapers7
3Writing Science for Magazines17
4Writing for Trade and Science Journals
Trade Journals27
Science Journals31
5Broadcast Science Journalism
Reporting News35
Magazine Style38
6Writing Books on Science Topics43
7Journalist and Scientist Co-authors51
8Scientists Who Write about Science for the Public57
9When Your Office Is in Your Home
Freelance Writing Issues65
Freelance Business Issues69
10Telling a Good Tale77
11Investigative Science Journalism86
12Using Sources94
13Coping with Statistics102
14Writing Articles from Science Journals110
15Voicing Opinion on Science
Science Columns117
Op-Ed Writing122
16Introduction127
17Critical Coverage of Public Health and Government131
18Reporting on Biology of Behavior142
19Covering Infectious Diseases152
20Reporting on Neuroscience161
21Toxics and Risk Reporting166
22Environmental Writing173
23Covering Earth Sciences180
24Covering Physics188
25Writing About Astronomy196
26Technology Writing203
27Introduction213
28Colleges and Universities217
29Government Agencies226
30Non-Profits, Small Research Laboratories, and Museums
Non-Profits235
Small Research Laboratories and Museums238
31Business and Industry
Drug Industry and Other Medical Business245
Technology Companies251
Appendix: Sources of Information257
Epilogue281
Index283

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A Field Guide for Science Writers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago