Stories

Award-winning journalism from the Showcase collection

Why Nothing Works

Erik Vance
PUBLISHED BY: Discover Magazine ON July 7, 2014
NASW Science in Society Award

Once dismissed as a curiosity, the placebo effect is now recognized as the key to the brain’s “inner pharmacy.” If only doctors knew how to open the medicine cabinet. …

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Madhumita Venkataramanan: My Identity For Sale

Madhumita Venkataramanan
PUBLISHED BY: Wired ON October 30, 2014
CASW Clark/Payne

Madhumita Venkataramanan reveals the lucrative trade in our so-called “anonymous” data.






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Storygram: Azeen Ghorayshi’s “Sounding the Alarm”

Azeen Ghorayshi • July 12, 2016
PUBLISHED BY: East Bay Express ON May 1, 2013
AAAS Kavli Award

An early warning system would save thousands of lives when the next major earthquake hits. But will California find the money to implement it?






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Battle of the Ash Borer

Matthew Miller
PUBLISHED BY: Lansing State Journal ON July 27, 2014
AAAS Kavli Award

Tom Yack steered his black SUV past the blue-and-electric-purple walls of the Skatin’ Station II and swung south toward the industrial buildings that line Ronda Drive. To the east, the 1.1 million-square-foot W. F. Whelan Co. warehouse that used to be a Kmart distribution center. Along the road, companies that make up much of Canton Township’s small manufacturing base: Champagne Grinding & Manufacturing Co. and Directional Regulated Systems, Inc. and a dozen others. …






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The 24/7 Search for Killer Quakes

Alexandra Witze
PUBLISHED BY: Nature ON July 8, 2015
AAAS Kavli Award

At 17 minutes past midnight on Saturday 25 April, Rob Sanders’s computer started chiming with alerts. On his screen, squiggly recordings poured in from seismometers in Tibet, Afghanistan and nearby areas that were feeling the first vibrations from a tremendous earthquake. …






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The Course of Their Lives

Mark Johnson
PUBLISHED BY: Journal Sentinel ON October 12, 2013
CASW Cohn Prize

The noisy, first-day-of-school chatter subsides. A hush falls over 200 students in a lecture hall at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Already, their thoughts are drifting up a flight of stairs to the sprawling dissection lab, where in two days they will meet and become intimate with something many have scarcely encountered: Death. …






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Storygram: Cally Carswell’s “The Tree Coroners”

Cally Carswell • June 30, 2016
PUBLISHED BY: High Country News ON December 16, 2013
NASW Science in Society Award

There are few better places than Frijoles Mesa to study the mortality of trees. This tongue of land lies partly within the grounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. To the west rises Cerro Grande, a mountain riddled with the charred skeletons of fir and pine trees. …






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Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn

Craig Welch
PUBLISHED BY: The Seattle Times ON September 12, 2013
National Academies Keck Award

Katharina Fabricius plunged from a dive boat into the Pacific Ocean of tomorrow. She kicked through blue water until she spotted a ceramic tile attached to the bottom of a reef. A year earlier, the ecologist from the Australian Institute of Marine Science had placed this small square near a fissure in the sea floor where gas bubbles up from the earth. She hoped the next generation of baby corals would settle on it and take root. …






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The Social Life of Genes

David Dobbs
PUBLISHED BY: Pacific Standard ON September 3, 2013
AAAS Kavli Award

Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells. Inside the new social science of genetics. …






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Devastated: The world’s largest known organism is in Utah—and it’s dying

Matthew D. LaPlante and Paul Christiansen
PUBLISHED BY: Salt Lake City Weekly ON November 20, 2013
AAAS Kavli Award

There was a boy named Gary here, in 1984. He carved his name into the bark of an aspen tree, and, next to that, the name of his lover, Lori. Then, hedging his bets against beavers and beetles, fires and foresters, he did it again. And again. And again. …






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