It has been suggested that the bug-like tendency of science journalists to swarm, or as Philippe Marcotte and Florian Sauvageau describe it, their “propensity for grouping and mingling,” stems from their sense of isolation—from other types of reporters and even more so from their sources. Neither fish nor fowl, science writers tend to be a breed apart, often the only one of their kind in a newsroom—or, in the developing world, sometimes in an entire country.

Surprisingly, then, the creation of mutual support systems for science writers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Although the first national group—the German Association of Science and Technical Journalists—was founded in 1929, followed by the formation of the U.S. National Association of Science Writers (NASW) in 1934, the majority of the ...

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