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:
Greg Gbur (Dr Skyskull) for a great tale about the soldier-stabbing, bandit-negotiating Francois Arago, the world’s most interesting physicist.
Cassie Willyard on the problem with Patient Zero and false uninformative narratives in public health.
Greg Downey for probably the best thing you’ll ever read on the problems of evolutionary psychology.
Emily Willingham for thoroughly debunking an awful Atlantic piece on the imagined “real dangers” of GM crops
David Dobbs for sublime writing about a painful story: Scott’s Antarctic mission and the lacklustre penguin eggs they collected.
Kevin Zelnio for telling moving and utterly unique story about how he got into science... and inspiring hundreds of others to do so.
Sally Adee for a fascinating tour through the neuroscience of night terrors
Petra Boynton for an important and topical piece on grieving after stillbirth and our disbelief at reactions we cannot imagine.