Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

Robin Lloyd elected president of CASW

Freelance science writer and editor Robin Lloyd (@RobinLloyd99has been elected president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, a nonprofit organization working to increase the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public.

Elected during the annual meeting of the Council’s board of directors on April 16, Lloyd succeeds Alan Boyle (@b0yle), who stepped down after eight years as president and five additional years of service as treasurer and vice president. Boyle — who is contributing editor for GeekWire and maintains the Cosmic Log science blog — has been a CASW board member since 2004.

“The past few years have brought huge transitions for the science writing profession, and for CASW as well,” Boyle said. “I’ve been lucky to have dedicated and savvy folks like Robin on our board, and on our staff.”

Boyle said the highlight of his tenure was 2017’s World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco, organized by a consortium including CASW. “I can’t wait to see the great things that Robin and CASW will be doing in the years to come,” he said.

Boyle will serve on the Council’s executive committee under Lloyd’s leadership.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to continue serving and advancing the field of science writing and to maintain the high standards of leadership and professionalism set by Alan Boyle and by all my predecessors and colleagues,” Lloyd said. “Recent years have underscored what CASW board members have known throughout the organization’s 60-year history — that science writing and science journalism are indispensable to society and must be strengthened.”

Robin Lloyd

A science writer going back to the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Lloyd now works as an independent writer and contributing editor to Scientific American, where she was news editor from 2009 to 2015. She is also an adjunct professor at New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. Previously, she was a senior editor for LiveScience.com and Space.com. She has additional experience at CNN, in print journalism (Pasadena Star-News), and in wire service journalism (City News Service in Los Angeles). She worked for five years as a science publicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her work can be found at robinmlloyd.com/work.

Lloyd earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT for the 1998-99 academic year. From 2010 to 2012, she served as a board member for the National Association of Science Writers. She also co-founded and chaired NASW’s Grants Committee, helping to evaluate dozens of grant applications for programs to advance the profession of science writing, and served as a preliminary judge for NASW's Science in Society awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Lloyd speaks regularly to early-career science writers, science journalists, and students about the profession of science writing. She has attended CASW’s New Horizons in Science briefings nearly every year since 1998. In 2013, she served on a three-person external review committee to help University of California, Santa Cruz administrators evaluate the campus’s Science Communications graduate training program.

First elected to CASW board in 2013, Lloyd became vice president in 2016 and over the past two years has worked with Executive Director Rosalind Reid to plan and launch a CASW initiative to improve the quality, diversity, and sustainability of science journalism.

Other Officer Elections

Other officers elected or re-elected at the Board’s annual meeting are:

  • Vice President Christie Aschwanden, freelance journalist, podcaster, author of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery, and formerly lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight.
  • Treasurer Richard Harris, science correspondent at National Public Radio since 1986.
  • Secretary Betsy Mason, freelance writer, former science editor for Wired.com, and co-author of NationalGeographic.com’s All over the Map blog.

Aschwanden was first elected to the board in 2015. Harris has served in the treasurer role since 2016, and Mason was first elected secretary in 2018.

CASW, founded in 1959, develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative coverage of developments in science, technology, medicine, and the environment. Its programs include the New Horizons in Science briefings, presented since 1963 and now part of the annual ScienceWriters conferences co-organized by CASW and NASW. Other programs include fellowships, awards, and training programs being developed as part of the science journalism initiative.