It’s time for October’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:
Meera Lee Sethi for this fantastic story about internet spider porn, and the dogged passion of scientists
Tom Holtz for “Love the tyrant, not the hype” – a great piece on T.rex that makes this most familiar of dinosaurs seem fascinatingly new.
Cassie Willyard for a thoughtful piece on why science writers need to ask dumb questions.
Erika Check Hayden for an important piece on why sequencing Steve Jobs' genome couldn't save his life, and the limits of modern genetics.
Razib Khan for a thought-provoking post on whether Neanderthals simply lacked leadership.
Paul Norris for his take on dolphin Curiosity, and whether they seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
Michael Eisen on the “myth of the scientific martyr” and why Daniel Shechtman is not Felisa Wolfe-Simon.
Jennifer Frazer for a wonderful account of a fountain of life at the bottom of the Dead Sea.
Mo Costandi for a magical post on whether magicians can teach neuroscientists a few tricks
Christie Wilcox for a personal account of the science of heartbreak