As 2012 draws to a close, CJR writers brainstormed the year’s best reads in their beats.

The dream that failed
The Economist’s special report on nuclear energy marking the first anniversary of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima power plant

Media blows hot air about dinosaur flatulenceSmithsonian Journalists carried away by speculation about Jurassic farts and climate change

‘NASA mohawk guy’ outshines Curiosity — From the Sidney Morning Herald: How a 32-year-old flight director went as viral as the Mars rover

Historic Jump Heralds Bold New Era of Humans Leaping Out of Space Capsules For No Reason — Slate wonders about the wonder of Fearless Felix’s record-breaking plummet

My So-Called Ex-Gay Life — A deep look in the Prospect at the fringe movement that just lost its only shred of scientific support

How Sandy slapped the sarcasm out of the TwitterThe New York Times’s David Carr on watching his feed turn from prankish to practical

New light on the ‘Dark Lady of DNA’? — Boing Boing asks James Watson about the latest edition of The Double Helix

The bedbug bunk — How The New York Times used fear and misinformation to spread public library hysteria

Pollution, Poverty, People of Color — Environmental Health News’s poignant series on the toxic burden afflicting low-income communities

The Dilbit Disaster — Inside Climate News on the biggest oil spill you’ve never heard of

 

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Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.