It’s time for December’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. There are two ways to help. 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:
Ilana Yurkiewicz with a thoughtful take on balancing a scientist’s curiosity with a medic’s compassion
Edward Willett for a lovely, funny science-y take on the famous Christmas poem. “Twas the nocturnal time of the preceding day…”
Chris Rowan for a beautifully realised post about 10 million feet upon the stair. This was published earlier this year but I only read it recently. It gets into the list because, hey, my list, my rules.
Jonah Lehrer for a typically excellent piece about how seeing someone’s naked body changes how we think about their mind.
Heather Pringle for a heartbreaking account of the ecological disaster at the Tambopata gold mine.
Petra Boynton for challenging a horrible case of medical misconduct and journalistic malpractice.
Erik Klemetti for a playful, funny post about the correct way to die when you fall into lava.
Michael Holcombe for a wonderful account of why we can’t focus underwater, from a Christmas argument to the four-eyed fish.