It’s time for July’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:
Henry Nicholls for his intriguing piece on the politics of panda censuses, featuring Wen Jiabao and a lot of panda poo.
Sean Carroll for his increasingly weary three-part post on how the laws underlying physics of everyday life are completely understood, no, really, no REALLY.
Kevin Zelnio for brilliantly sticking up for science with this post on bear paternity tests, why they were expensive, and why they were worth it.
Pal MD for his write-up of a “beautiful study” on placebo and asthma
Dan Jones for this fascinating piece on why we’re more likely to view an act as intentional if we disapprove of it.
Rob Dunn for a witty and interesting post on why antimicrobial wipes and soaps could be making you (and society) sick
Rick Macpherson for a stark but balance post on shark-finning
Daniel Macarthur for his thoughts on why personal genomics is no longer just for white folks.
Anne Casselman for her evocative post on dancing spiders and why you can spend 37 yrs studying them without scratching the surface.
Jennifer Frazer for her wonderful take on the almighty prion (“the Rasputin of biology”) and why the humble lichen f**ks them up