Resources

There are plenty of associations for science journalists, and so many news sites that it's easy to get lost. Here is a short-list of sites that I have found useful, and recommended reading (from books to essays and inspirational articles) compiled by myself and my colleagues.

Professional development
World Federation of Science J.
Canadian Science Writers’ Association
National (US) Assoc. of Sci. Writers
Association of British Sci Writers

Science news
Nature
Science
BBC
New Scientist
Guardian
NY Times
Economist
Scientific American
Seed
The Scientist

Blogs
Science Blogs
Scientopia
Big Think
Wired Blogs
PLoS Blogs

Critique of science journalism
The Open Notebook -- compiles original pitches and interviews with reporters telling the 'story behind the story' for outstanding pieces of science journalism
Knight Science Journalism Tracker
Science and the media web column by Matthew Nisbet (ongoing)
Nieman reports on science journalism (2002)
Nature special on science journalism

Press releases
Eurekalert
AlphaGalileo

Science journals
Science Direct

Podcasts
Radio Lab (npr)
Big Ideas (tvo)
Nature
Spark (cbc)
TED talks

Essays and articles about science and/or journalism
An inspirational series of articles on science journalism in the Guardian
Take big, wonderful and startling ideas and make them comprehensible
(The other articles are mysteriously in the 'More on this story' sidebar.)
Nature news special, science journalism (2010)
Science and the media, by web column by Matthew Nisbet (ongoing)
Nieman reports on science journalism (2002)
"The Kept University," The Atlantic (2000)
The Ingelfinger Rule, Science Editor (Dec 2002)
A guide to corporate front-groups (98)
On Industry-funded think tanks
Epidemiology 101
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, Naomi Oreskes (3 DECEMBER 2004 VOL 306 SCIENCE, doi: 10.1126/science.1103618)
Science and public policy: what’s proof got to do with it?, Naomi Oreskes (Environmental Science & Policy, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2004.06.002)
UK National Newspaper Coverage of Hybrid Embryos: Source strategies and struggles, Cardiff research group (2009)
Substantial articles on peer review, search for ‘peer review’ in http://www.the-scientist.com (password required)
Peer Review: Crude and Understudied, but Indispensable (JAMA. 1994;272:96-97)

The following list was compiled with the help of colleagues and various online sites – I have not yet read them all myself.

Books for scientists trying to communicate
Escape from the Ivory Tower, Nancy Baron

Books about science
A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson (2004)
End of Science, John Horgan (96)
What Remains to Be Discovered, John Maddox (98) – a response to Horgan

Books about science journalism
A field guide for science writers (latest edition)
The best American Science writing (ongoing series)
Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition, Brant Houston
News & Numbers: A Guide to Reporting Statistical Claims and Controversies in Health and Other Fields, by Victor Cohn, Lewis Cope
Medical Journalism - Exposing Fact, Fiction, Fraud, by Ragnar Levi
Communicating uncertainty : media coverage of new and controversial science, Sharon M. Friedman, Sharon Dunwoody, and Carol L. Rogers, editors. (1998)
Bad science, Ben Goldacre (Harper Perennial)

Books about the nature of science, and science literacy
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, a great book for explaining the scientific method, the rational thinking that underlies it and its importance in everyday life.
Science: A Four Thousand Year History (OUP, 2009), Patricia Fara - a nice, refreshing account of the history of science
The Social Relations of Science, J. G. Crowther (1939-40) - an interesting historical perspective.
Science, the Endless Frontier, Vannevar Bush – a classic
Science in Society (Paperback), Matthew David (2005) - the role (and limitations) of science in generating knowledge, and the relationship between scientific knowledge and social progress.
What is this thing called science, AF Chalmers - potted philosophy of science
The Golem: What You Should Know about Science, Harry M. Collins and Trevor Pinch (1998) – an excellent collection of anecdotes that throw science in a more uncertain light.
The Unnatural Nature of Science, Lewis Wolpert -- This is much more a ‘why science is special’ book; a good counter-argument to the ‘everything-is-relative’ school of thinking.
The demon haunted world, Carl Sagan - how science banishes ignorance
The Two Cultures, CP Snow – a classic
Postmodernism and big science, ed R Appignanesi -- a bluffers guide to Einstein, Hawking, Darwin, Kuhn, Dawkins…
Rethinking expertise, Harry Collins (2007)
Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (Paperback), Bruno Latour (Author), Steve Woolgar (Author), Jonas Salk (Editor) (1986)
Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society, Bruno Latour (1988)
The structure of scientific revolutions (Thomas Kuhn) – a classic
Wittgenstein's Poker, David Edmonds and John Eidinow (2001) -- the history of philosophy involving Sir Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein, leading to a confrontation at the University of Cambridge in 1946.
"The Mismeasure of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould - A cautionary tale on the dangers of preconceptions in doing science. And an antidote to the common misconception that DNA is a deterministic blueprint of life.
Unscientific America: How scientific illiteracy threatens our future, Mooney and Kirshenbaum
Public understanding of science : a history of communicating scientific ideas, David Knight. (2006.)
The march of unreason, Dick Taverne – about anti-science movements
Science under siege (2000) – a great review of the science wars in chapter 1, and an analysis of specific warring groups, from feminists to environmentalists to fundamentalists.

Books about politics and science
Controversy: the politics of technical decisions, Dorothy Nelkin
The Jasons, Anne Finkbeiner - an excellent study into those scientists who agreed to give secret advice to the US Defense Department.
The Carbon War, Jeremy Leggett - case study on the interplay between science, biz, NGOs and government in the run-up to the Kyoto Protocol.
Dissent over Descent, Steve Fuller - a thoughtful and provocative polemic on the intelligent design movement.
Science and Government, CP Snow – a classic
Politics of pure science, Daniel Greenberg
Science, Money, and Politics, Daniel S. Greenberg (Univ. Chicago Press, 2001)
Chris Mooney (various books, blogs, articles)
Undermining Science, Seth Shulman (Univ. California Press, 2006) - Suppression and distortion in the Bush administration
The art and politics of science, Harold Varmus – reminiscence of the former NIH head.

Books for inspiration / specific topics
Afterglow of Creation, Marcus Chown - an all-time favourite on the discovery of Big Bang remnant radiation.
The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes - does a great job of pulling a lot of hairy science into an engaging narrative.
Wild thoughts from wild places, David Quammen's essays from Outside - great model of impeccable research, easy reading, and lots of attitude.
Brighter than 1000 suns, Robert Jungk - a journalistic account of the manhattan project.
Plastic Fantastic, Eugenie Samuel (2009) – the Hendrick Shoen fraud affair
Masters of Theory - a thorough account of how and why advanced mathematics developed at Cambridge
The Genome War, James Shreeve (2004)
The Honest Broker, Pielke.
Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe
Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Matt Ridley, Genome
Robert Sapolsky, Monkeyluv
Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony
Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions – see http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/nav/p/category/academic/series/general/vsi/R/browse+within+this+series/mathematics+%26+sciences/n/4294921802.do?sortby=bookTitleAscend
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, Ed Richard Dawkins – one hundred classic pieces of writing by scientists and science writers.
The Double Helix, James Watson (1968)
Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond (1997)
The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg
Microbe Hunters, Paul de Kruif
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Richard P. Feynman

Books on writing
Politics and the English Language, George Orwell
The war against cliché, Martin Amis
Nobody's Perfect, Anthony Lane
Writing for Story, Jon Franklin



Great news features / snippets
The new diamond age, Wired http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/diamond.html
La Vida Robot, Wired. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.04/robot.html
A Boy’s Life, the Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/transgender-children/2
The Itch, the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/30/080630fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all
His Daughter’s DNA, Nature http://www.nature.com/news/2007/071017/full/449773a.html
The Dustiest Place on Earth, Nature
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7035/full/434816a.html
Never Mind the Facts, Ben Goldacre http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2003/dec/11/science.highereducation
The Uranium Widows, New Yorker
Frederick Crews: “Saving Us From Darwin”
Jared Diamond: “The Curse of Qwerty”
Darcy Frey: “George Divoky’s Planet”
Theodosius Dobzhansky: “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”
Masha Gessen: “A Medical Quest”
–“The Panda’s Thumb”
J.B.S. Haldane: “On Being the Right Size”
Oliver Morton: “Moonshine and Glue: A Thirteen-Unit Guide to the Extreme Edge of Astrophysics”
Lawrence Osborne: “A Linguistic Big Bang”
David Quammen: “Is Evolution Wrong?”
Jeffrey Rosen: “The Brain on the Stand”
Oliver Sacks: “The Abyss”
Robert Sapolsky: “A Gene for Nothing”
– “A Natural History of Peace”
Polly Shulman: “Infinity Plus One”
Neal Stephenson: “Mother Earth Mother Board”
Gary Taubes: “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?”
Kenneth Weiss and Usha Macfarling: “Altered Oceans”


Great science journalism on tv
'DNA (Episode 3): The Human Race', a Windfall Films production which was broadcast on Channel 4 on 22 March 2003

Notable fiction
The Early Asimov Volume 3, Isaac Asimov, for The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline – a mock paper that caused a sort-of war-of-the-worlds fuss.
Futures by Nature, Ed Henry Gee – fiction written by scientists, embracing some of the weirder, newer, and often true bits of science.
The Sun and the Moon Corrupted, Philip Ball – for an interesting ‘behind the scenes’ look at a journal loosely based on Nature, the trials of fringe scientists, and the struggles of a science journalist who is ‘over her head’ with her story…
The Periodic Table, Primo Levi – autobiographical stories from a Jewish chemist who survived Auschwitz, voted “the best science book ever” by the Royal Institution.
Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino
Solar, Ian McEwan - a cynical Nobel prize-winning physicist turns to dark methods to save his flagging career. A book about the messy human nature of science, which will make you reconsider the concept of trust in senior scientists.
Tech Transfer by Dan Greenberg – fraud, illegal research and dementia-addled presidents plague a university campus to hilarious effect.
PhD comics – an academic laugh…