Showcase highlights award-winning science journalism. This site will celebrate excellence, honor and amplify the work of awards programs, and—most important—offer inspiration and insight to aspiring and early-career science writers. If you want to learn from the work of great science writers, this is a website built for you.
Showcase was launched in July 2016 as a project of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW).
The design of Showcase was motivated by a conviction that presenting, curating and annotating superb examples of science writing in various media will:
- Demonstrate the power and effectiveness of good science communication to diverse audiences.
- Provide examples and critiques for use in teaching students how to apply the principles of journalism to science topics.
- Bring interested young scientists and other aspiring writers into an online conversation with professional writers about how the stories of science can be told, how tough challenges in science communication can be surmounted, and how we can inform societal dialogue about science.
- Encourage public engagement and understanding of science by giving exceptional science writing an extended public lifespan, amplifying its impact.
Our Selection Process
Most of the stories featured here are selected from exceptional work recognized by scholarly and professional organizations. These awards include the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, the former National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Communication Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, the Victor McElheny Award for Local and Regional Science Journalism, and CASW’s own Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting and Clark/Payne Award for Young Science Journalists. Occasionally we will select stories that have won other prominent science journalism awards, been selected for anthologies, or been chosen for special recognition by Showcase judges.
Content for the site is chosen by volunteer judges drawn from the CASW board and other distinguished science journalists.
We welcome nominations of award-winning stories, especially those that solve journalistic challenges specific to science reporting. We cannot yet include broadcast or multimedia stories, but we will take other nominations into account when we are able to expand our selection. Contact us through the Suggestion Box.
Showcase features work done in collaboration with The Open Notebook during our first three years (2016–19) to analyze and annotate some of these award-winning stories. Storygrams, which were co-published with TON as part of a project funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, articulate the characteristics that lift a piece of science writing out of the ordinary and give it lasting impact. TON also produced brief interviews with featured stories’ writers; this multi-perspective analysis enables readers to gain insight into what makes a great science story great. The choice of stories for Storygrams was done through a consultation process managed by our collaborators at TON.
In 2017, CASW co-hosted the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco. In connection with that event, we collaborated in producing videos featuring clips of science journalists who had won national and international awards. Those videos are featured on the Worldview page.
About CASW and Showcase’s Supporters
The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, a panel of distinguished journalists, science communications specialists and scientists, is committed to improving the quantity and quality of science news reaching the public. CASW develops and funds programs to help reporters and writers produce accurate and informative stories about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.
CASW is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit. The development of Showcase was funded by grants from the Moore Foundation, PressForward and an anonymous foundation. Showcase benefits from the generosity of writers, photographers, and publishers who have granted us courtesy use of their content. CASW is pleased to have been selected as a PressForward Partner, pioneering the use of new tools for collecting, discussing and sharing web content.
In 2022, CASW was awarded additional funding for Showcase by Schmidt Futures and the Rita Allen Foundation as part of the CASW Connector project. The Schmidt and Rita Allen support will enable CASW to update Showcase with content from 2020 and onward, supporting users of the Connector resource hub and others with fresh examples of extraordinary science writing.