It’s time for April’s Science Writer Tip-Jar picks. For those new to this, here’s the low-down: Throughout the blogosphere, people produce fantastic writing for free. That’s great, but I believe that good writers should get paid for good work. To set an example, I choose ten pieces every month that were written for free and I donate £3 to the author. There are no formal criteria other than I found them unusually interesting, enjoyable and/or important. I also encourage readers to support these writers through two buttons on the sidebar. Any donations via “Support Science Writers” are evenly distributed to chosen ten at the end of the month. Donations via the “Support NERS” button go to me; I match a third of the total figure and send that to the chosen writers too. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the picks:
Brian Switek for a wonderful series of posts on primate “grief”, the evolution of mammal ear bones from reptile jaws, the world’s oldest toothache, and why people should stop comparing every dino to T.rex.
Al Dove for his post on beautifully told account of his own research, involving an amazing mob of 420 feeding whale sharks
Jennifer Ouellette on the challenge of cryogenics, taking in zombie dogs, antifreeze proteins and, er, Demolition Man.
Jeremy Yoder on meat-eating geraniums and other sorta-carnivorous plants.
Craig McClain with a brilliant post drawing parallels between a 1st century Germanic chieftain and a baby coral.
Christie Wilcox for her thorough critique of a CEO who shot an elephant and bragged about it
Jonah Lehrer, who made making the psychological case for knowing more about wine
Jennifer Frazer for a wonderful tribute to the legendary Tom Eisner and a cool tour through the chemical world of insects & plants, featuring bombardier beetles, bolas spiders and more.
Maryn Mckenna for an eye-opening post on just how hard and expensive it is to stop an outbreak of measles, and the vivid cost of vaccine refusal
Eric Michael Johnson for his discussion on the allure of gay cavemen and “third gender” people.
And for interest, the tip-jar initiative has raised US$350 over the last two months. Thanks to everyone who contributed.