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Podcast: Christie Aschwanden – 1st in our series on standouts in health care journalism

Christie Aschwanden

Christie Aschwanden

In our podcast series, we’re giving you a chance to hear directly from newsmakers, and from some who maybe should be in the news but aren’t. But we also want to occasionally feature some news reporters.

Today we profile Christie Aschwanden, the lead writer for science at FiveThirtyEight and a health columnist for The Washington Post. She’s also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, a contributing editor for Runner’s World and a contributing writer for Bicycling. Her work appears in dozens of publications, including Discover, Slate, Proto, Consumer Reports, New Scientist, More, Men’s Journal, NPR.org, Smithsonian and O, the Oprah Magazine. She blogs about science at Last Word On Nothing and she’s the former managing editor of The Open Notebook. Her Last Word On Nothing post about science denialism at Susan G. Komen for the Cure won the National Association of Science Writers’ 2013 Science in Society Award for Commentary/Opinion, and she was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2011. She uses Twitter as @CragCrest.

She is one of the most insightful, analytical health care journalists in the business today. Listen and learn in this podcast:

Christie 2Christie Aschwanden’s personal website, with links to lots of her good work.

Mother Jones: What if everything your doctor told you about breast cancer was wrong? (See the ugliness in many of the ~200 comments left online)

The Washington Post: I’m just saying no to mammography: Why the numbers are in my favor

Popular Science: Cancer Screening Can Do More Harm Than Good

The Last Word on Nothing blog: Breast cancer’s latest saga: misfearing and misplaced goalposts

Proto magazine: No Easy Answers (on ductal carcinoma in situ)

The Washington Post: Why you may want to avoid a dementia test

More magazine: Are You Getting Too Much Medical Care?

Pacific Standard magazine: Convincing the Public to Accept New Medical Guidelines

The Washington Post: Platelet-rich plasma treatment is popular for sports injuries, whether it works or not

FiveThirtyEight.com: You can’t trust what you read about nutrition

Her own favorite – on FiveThirtyEight.com: Science Isn’t Broken: It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for


Thanks to The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation for providing us with a grant to produce these podcasts.

Credit: podcast editor Cristeta Boarini

Music used in this episode:

  • “Uncertainty” by The Fray
  • “Law (Earthlings on Fire)” by David Bowie
  • “Somebody to Love” by Queen

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