There has been some discussion recently about ChatGPT, or its competitors, being used to take the place of human writers. I have good news: if you write about issues related to science, health or technology, you have nothing to worry about. These tools are simply not up to the task (yet). I want to talk about why.Continue reading “Why AI Writing Tools Are Useless for Science News”
Tips For Evaluating Health News Stories
News stories that talk about health and medicine can offer valuable insights into our understanding of the human body, its failings, and emerging treatments related to our well-being. But health stories can also be confusing or misleading. That means that we should all be critical consumers of health news.Continue reading “Tips For Evaluating Health News Stories“
In This Struggle For the Long Haul: A Q&A with Sami Grover
It is easy to feel overwhelmed or powerless in the face of climate change. By the same token, it’s also easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, or that you should be overcome with guilt because of what you had for dinner or how you got to work. If you feel that way, you’re not alone.
A new book tackles these issues head on, and focuses on practical ways that people can figure out how they can make a difference. The book is We’re All Climate Hypocrites Now: How Embracing Our Limitations Can Unlock the Power of a Movement, by Sami Grover.Continue reading “In This Struggle For the Long Haul: A Q&A with Sami Grover”
The Key Characteristics of Assholery: a Q&A with Melinda Wenner Moyer
In many ways, being a parent is a truly wonderful experience. But it’s also scary. And one of the things that keeps many parents up at night is the fear that their kids might grow up to be jerks.
Well, parents, there is good news.Continue reading “The Key Characteristics of Assholery: a Q&A with Melinda Wenner Moyer”
The Future of the Toilet: a Q&A with Chelsea Wald
Some of you might think that toilets, or the biological necessities that inspired them, are disgusting. Others might think they’re boring. But, oh, my friends – you are wrong.Continue reading “The Future of the Toilet: a Q&A with Chelsea Wald”
Should a Science Magazine Endorse a Political Candidate? Why Not?
Scientific American has, for the first time, endorsed a presidential candidate. I have seen some commentators bemoaning this decision. I, however, believe that SciAm made the right call. Here’s why… Continue reading “Should a Science Magazine Endorse a Political Candidate? Why Not?”
Resources For Anyone With Questions About COVID-19
A lot of people have a lot of questions related to COVID-19. I shared a version of this note with friends and family, and some of them asked me to put it somewhere that would make it easier to share. I don’t have all the answers. But I can provide some basic background, and offer suggestions for places you can turn for additional information as we move forward. I’ll also provide what resources I can find that are relevant for both reporters and anyone interested in being a savvy consumer of news. Continue reading “Resources For Anyone With Questions About COVID-19”
Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Scientist
Approximately one gazillion years ago, I wrote a piece including tips from reporters about how to prepare for interviews with scientists. While that post is useful, several people have recently asked me for more specific guidance on how to interview researchers. Specifically, they wanted to know not only how to prepare, but what sorts of questions to ask. Continue reading “Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Scientist”
Why Reporters Don’t Let Scientists Review Their Stories
Many scientists don’t understand why reporters won’t let scientists review draft versions of news stories before the stories are published. Some scientists think this is unfair and leads to inaccuracies in news stories about scientific research – but there are reasons that news outlets discourage this sort of pre-publication review. Let’s dig in to that a little bit. Continue reading “Why Reporters Don’t Let Scientists Review Their Stories”