science journalism

Siddharta Mukherjee's Writing Career Just Got Dealt a Sucker Punch

Siddharha Mukherjee won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction for his book, The Emporer of All Maladies.  The book has received widespread acclaim among lay audience, physicians, and scientists alike.  Last year the book was turned into a special PBS series.  But, according to a slew of scientists, we should all be skeptical of his next book scheduled to hit book shelves this month, The Gene, An Intimate History.

A Tool to Strengthen the Voice of Science in Online Journalism

Emmanuel Vincent is the founder of Climate Feedback, a project which includes a new tool for scientists to comment directly on climate science news. The tool is a plugin which can be downloaded for free and gives a viewer real time access to the feedback of scientists on a particular online article.  Though the project is just for news about climate science, Emmanuel says in today’s interview, that the project could scale for other science journalism as well. 

What would it take to get something like this up an running for biologists who want to keep journalists honest about such topics as GMOs and the latest in genome editing techniques? Would the model be a non-profit such as Wikipedia, or a company like Reddit? 

Join us in probing a new approach to improving not only science, but the delivery of science to a wider audience.

So That Happened, The Mad Genius, and Selling SynBio

It’s a week of finding out again what we already knew. First that a nobel laureate can also be a total ***hole. And second that creative people really are crazy.

It’s also been a week for going into the future. This week Team Mendelspod attended IndieBio’s Demo Day. Twelve, mostly very young, founder/geeks pitched their new ideas for making the world a better place to a room of investors in downtown San Francisco. We saw some amazing technology, but the real question seems to be, how will they sell these new synthetic biology products?!?.

Mendelspod is avaliable on iTunes

New Patient Focused Genome Magazine Signing up Many Doctors Too

Just as biomedical research is experiencing a surge of translation into clinical application, so too must the stories of this research and its impact in the lives of patients be translated to a larger audience.

Genome magazine is a new forum for patients to learn about the rapidly advancing field of precision medicine. Published by a two time breast cancer survivor, Susan McClure, Genome is sent out to an audience of more than 325,000 each quarter for free. With four editions published, the magazine has featured stories on a multitude of diverse topics around the core theme of genomics: prenatal diagnostics, cancer care, the microbiome, and many more.

Jeanette McCarthy is the editor of Genome and joins us today to talk about her vision for the publication. She describes the audience — the magazine is as popular with doctors as it is with patients — and her efforts to find the right tone for a wide audience.

"Our vision is really to bring patients into the conversation about precision medicine," she says.

One Less Voice on the BioBeat - Luke Timmerman Ends Stint with Xconomy

Monday mornings won’t be the same in biotech.

Luke Timmerman announced last week that he’ll no longer be writing his Monday morning BioBeat column or serving as National Biotech Editor at Xconomy.

Timmerman’s voice has stood out in our industry for consistency, optimism, pragmatism . . .  and great sports analogies.  


Source: Xconomy

Biotech Journalist Shares Photos, Trip to Top of North America

Luke Timmerman is the National Biotech Editor for Xconomy. His weekly BioBeat columns on Mondays are a favorite among industry veterans.

Last month Luke took three weeks to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. I was blown away with this photo essay he posted on his return. Having climbed a few mountains, including Mt. Whitney here in California, I know a bit about what it takes.

"When I'm 164": a Chat with Journalist David Ewing Duncan


David Ewing Duncan, Journalist, Author Bio and Contact Info

Listen (5:36) The survey

Listen (3:24) What life science technology most excites you?

Listen (2:53) Maximum vs average life expectancy

Listen (4:11) The limitations of science

Listen (9:33) Being a journalist today

Listen (4:53) Science and politics today

Listen (2:58) David, how old do you want to live to be?

How old do you want to live to be? Seriously. Author and life science journalist, David Ewing Duncan, has asked over 30,000 this question. 60% have answered they wish only to live the average 80 years. 30% shoot for the 120 year mark. 10% think big at 150 years. And about 1% go for the biggie, immortality. Did the scientific audiences Duncan asked have different numbers than the lay audience? David explains the numbers in this interview which is not only about his new e-book, "When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens if It Succeeds," but also about life as a journalist in today's world.

Who Will Report Bio? with Danny Levine, Burrill & Company

Podcast Sponsor: Ingenuity - iReport, the fastest and most accurate way to get biological meaning from your expression data. iReport/


Danny Levine, Managing Director, Burrill&Company Bio and Contact Info

Listen (11:16) Consequences of few daily news reporters at BIO

Listen (5:59) Public trusts a daily reporter

Listen (6:57) Industry issues less about science and more about policy

Listen (2:11) A note about recent decision to uphold healthcare law

Listen (4:26) Role of scientists in today's world

Recently, more than 15,000 folks gathered in Boston for the annual BIO Convention, the largest gathering of the year for industry execs, national and local politicians, scientists and about anyone connected to the industry. However, this year there was a noticeable absence - a glaring lack of daily newspaper reporters. To discuss this and what it means for the industry we’re joined by Danny Levine, host of the popular podcast for the Burrill Report and managing director for Burrill’s Media division. In an article this week titled, “The Biotech Story You Won’t Read in Your Local Newspaper,” Danny wrote about the absence of the daily press at the event.

Danny also shares his thoughts about the recent ruling upholding the healthcare bill and weighs in on the role of scientists in today's world.