Stories

Award-winning journalism from the Showcase collection

Storygram: George Johnson’s “Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer”

George Johnson • October 25, 2016
PUBLISHED BY: The New York Times ON January 4, 2014
AAAS Kavli Award

EVERY New Year when the government publishes its Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, it is followed by a familiar lament. We are losing the war against cancer. …

Read More

A Fight for the Soul of Science

Natalie Wolchover
PUBLISHED BY: Quanta Magazine ON December 16, 2015
CASW Clark/Payne

Physicists typically think they “need philosophers and historians of science like birds need ornithologists,” the Nobel laureate David Gross told a roomful of philosophers, historians and physicists last week in Munich, Germany, paraphrasing Richard Feynman. …






Read More

End of the Miracle Machines

Abrahm Lustgarten
PUBLISHED BY: ProPublica ON June 16, 2015
National Academies Keck Award

A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart. …






Read More

Storygram: Amanda Gefter’s “The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic”

Amanda Gefter • September 20, 2016
PUBLISHED BY: Nautilus ON February 5, 2015
AAAS Kavli Award

Walter Pitts was used to being bullied. He’d been born into a tough family in Prohibition-era Detroit, where his father, a boiler-maker, had no trouble raising his fists to get his way. The neighborhood boys weren’t much better. One afternoon in 1935, they chased him through the streets until he ducked into the local library to hide. The library was familiar ground, where he had taught himself Greek, Latin, logic, and mathematics—better than home, where his father insisted he drop out of school and go to work. Outside, the world was messy. Inside, it all made sense. …






Read More

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. …






Read More

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.






Read More

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?






Read More

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. …






Read More

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. …






Read More

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. …






Read More