The Tracker

Just Add Science?

Common wisdom suggests that the remedy for unscientific beliefs on everything from climate change to evolution is to simply administer more reporting on the science. The problem is, studies have shown time and time again that this strategy doesn’t work. So what’s a well-meaning science journalist to do?

Undark Podcast #8: Worse Than the Disease

Reporter David Tuller discusses a therapy prescribed for chronic fatigue syndrome — one for which supporting research is now unraveling. Also, Undark’s Tracker columnist Seth Mnookin on a rift within the National Association of Science Writers, and reporter Jeff Emtman on flesh-eating beetles.

Undark Podcast #7: Bombturbation & More

Join our podcast host and former NYT Science Times editor David Corcoran as he talks with writer Karen Coates about how U.S. bombing permanently altered the landscape in Southeast Asia. Also: Undark’s Tracker columnist, Seth Mnookin on Patient H.M., and reporter James Perla on a rare bat in Costa Rica.

Undark Podcast #6: The Crime of HIV Laws

Join our podcast host and former NYT Science Times editor David Corcoran as he discusses the criminalization of HIV with science writer Jessica Wapner, author of Undark’s recent feature on the topic. Also on tap: Undark’s Tracker columnist, Paul Raeburn, and Scienceline reporter Sandy Ong.

Undark Podcast #5: Conflict & Conservation

Join our podcast host David Corcoran as he discusses with writer Alexandra Ossola her journey into mountains of Colombia to find a rare hummingbird and the parallels she saw with the people who share its territory. Also: Undark’s Tracker columnist, Paul Raeburn, talks about fair use of copyrighted material.

When Does ‘Fair Use’ Become Unfair?

In the United States, “fair use” is defined as having “the right to use copyrighted material without permissions or payment under some circumstances — especially when the cultural or social benefits or the use are predominant.” That seems straightforward, but it has puzzled journalists for decades.

Right But Wrong

A recent foray into epigenetics by Pulitzer-prizewinning writer and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee has outraged experts in the field, who suggest he left out crucial details, or oversimplified to the point of error. In response: Mukherjee has invoked the science writer’s lament: Not enough space.

The First Wave in a Long Goodbye

On Saturday, The New York Times unveiled a masterful, 20,000-word story that takes an unusual look at Alzheimer’s disease. Rather than focusing on the end stages of the disease, as many such stories do, the reporter follows Geri Taylor, a woman diagnosed just a few years ago.