Young man at a laptop

How Science News Does Science Journalism.

Last summer, the staff at Science News was struck by a snippet in an Atlantic article in which a newspaper reader “said a big reason she found news outlets so unreliable is that she believes each article is written through the lens of a single reporter’s opinion or agenda.” The Science News team surveyed their readers, came up with a list of questions, and have now addressed each of them (“Why do you quote people who aren’t involved in the research?”) in an FAQ. Not every outlet operates in exactly the same way, but there is a lot of good information here for nonjournalists who are interested in seeing how the news gets reported and how important it is for all of us to get it right.

Heather Goss, Editor in Chief

Queen Elsa the Scientist.

I think it’s safe to say that Emily Kaiser won Halloween this year with this Queen Elsa the Scientist costume! Start planning for next year: Here’s our list of Disney Princesses as Earth and space scientists.
Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer

Brazilian ‘Forest Guardian’ Killed by Illegal Loggers in Ambush. Environmental advocates can face mortal perils, as Eos reporter Kimberly M. S. Cartier wrote in August. In a tragedy a few days ago, illegal loggers in Brazil ambushed and killed Paulo Paulino Guajajara, an indigenous member of the group Guardians of the Forest. According to The Guardian (no relation to the group), the reserve where Guajajara was killed “is officially protected by the Brazilian government but is constantly targeted by logging gangs and has long been a hotbed of violent conflict.”

Randy Showstack, Staff Writer

Bordeaux Wine Fired into Space to Test Ageing. Scientists were keen to study how radiation and microgravity affected components in the wine, such as polyphenols, crystals, and tannins. That could offer clues to how to improve long-term storage of food and drink in space and also how the agriculture sector on Earth might adapt to climate change.

—Alan Smithee, Editorial Contributor

They Didn’t Find Life in a Hopeless Place. Microbes on Earth often surpass our expectations, managing to survive, and even thrive, in places we once thought were uninhabitable—scalding hydrothermal vents and hot springs, glacier-entombed lakes, or deep underground, for example. But it seems some conditions, or combinations of conditions, may be too much even for our planet’s hardiest beings.

Timothy Oleson, Science Editor

A Beautiful View of the Southern Sky from TESS.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has moved on to scanning the northern sky for planets around other stars. As we wait for more planets to show up, astronomer Ethan Kruse put together this brilliant 300-megapixel mosaic image of the entire southern sky as seen by TESS. The NASA team loved it so much they made it into a movie!

Kimberly Cartier, Staff Writer

For the Benefit of Humanity. AGU’s Centennial theme for this month is geohealth, the intersection of Earth sciences and health sciences, and the related study of natural disasters. Our editor in chief writes about this important field and calls out several articles that appear in the November print edition of Eos.

Faith Ishii, Production Manager

Voyager 2’s Interstellar Arrival Was Kind of Familiar. That’s Surprising.

Voyager 1 (top) and Voyager 2 (bottom) have now both exited the solar system and are flying through nearby interstellar space. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Staff writer Kim Cartier brings us news from the edge of the solar system this week! Knowing that the Voyager spacecraft are out there—beyond our solar system, just whizzing along—never fails to amaze me.
Jenessa Duncombe, Staff Writer

Do the Deaths of Top Scientists Make Way for New Growth? New research, more relevant than ever in our influencer-driven culture, shows that in the years after a science superstar’s death, the number of papers published by newcomers grew by 8.6% annually, on average. At the same time, papers published by collaborators of the superstar took a nosedive, decreasing by about 20%. The article is a positive affirmation of the scientific process and starts off with a great quote from Max Planck: New ideas advance in science not just because they are true, but because their opponents die.

Caryl-Sue, Managing Editor


(2019), Recommended: Science journalism, science princesses, and wine, Eos, 100, Published on 07 November 2019.

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