Neuron Culture

A heads-up: to those in or near NYC:

Tuesday, March 31, at 6 pm, at 20 Cooper Square in NYC, I’ll be giving a talk/discussion on blogging and long-form journalism — particularly on the different demands, pros and cons, possibilities and constraints, and reader and writer experiences those two different modes of writing (and reading) impose and offer.

The event is part of the NYU journalism Science, Health, and Environmenatl Reporting programs’s “Inside-Out” series. WSJ science columnist and former NASW president Robert Lee Hotz will sit down with me to discuss this and other topics.

We’ll focus at least part of the discussion around my story in this April’s Scientific American, “The Post-Traumatic Stress Trap.” That story presents an argument that the PTSD diagnosis is “a faulty, outdated construct” that is overapplied, particularly to combat veterans, with unhelpful results.

This is a tetchy argument that has raised some hackles. So I should be clear: This event is part of a writing program, aimed to stir student and public discussion of journalism and writing issues; I’m there to talk about journalism and writing and not argue about the PTSD controversy.

Instead we’ll talk, at least for starters, about what this story’s genesis, development, writing, and publication — along with the blog reactions afterwards — suggest about the differences between blogging and long-form, “slow-bake” journalism. Why did I do the story as long-form journalism? What would it have been like if I had blogged it instead? Would it have been the same story at all? Would it have even been done? This — and pretty much any other writing/journalism issue connected — is what we’ll explore.

If that’s your cup of tea, come and join us! It’s at 20 Cooper Square, 7th floor, Tuesday, March 31, 6-8 pm; click here for full details. If you’re a Neuron Culture reader, by all means introduce yourself.