Long COVID, AI, UFOs and more: Reporters cover ScienceWriters2023

Advocate and storyteller Chimére L. Sweeney shared her experience with LONG Covid at the ScienceWriters2023 New Horizons in Science briefing. (Image: Devi Rao)

As experts spoke on topics ranging from environmental disaster response and quantum computers to long COVID, 14 intrepid reporters fanned out across the ScienceWriters2023 conference in Colorado, covering each event in CASW’s 61st annual New Horizons in Science briefings. 

CASW partners with ComSciCon and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to provide early-career scientists an opportunity to attend the conference learn about science journalism in a hands-on way. Each fellow is paired with a mentor and assigned a briefing to cover as a beat journalist would. This year’s mentors were Marla Broadfoot, Pete Farley, Richard Harris, Karyn Hede, Dan Keller, Czerne Reid, Priyanka Runwal, Ashley Smart, Kate Travis, and Jon Weiner.  

Along with four New Horizons fellows—journalists recognized by CASW with funds to travel to the ScienceWriters meeting—the 10 ComSciCon-SciWri participants took photos and wrote stories about Michael Mann’s Patrusky lecture on climate change; panels that unpacked the aftermath of the Marshall Fire in Boulder and the train derailment in Ohio; personal stories and advice on covering Long COVID, Indigenous public health, and cannabis research; close looks at the facts and hype around quantum science, artificial intelligence, and unidentified aerial phenomena; and more. 

Each published piece went through an editorial process designed to give fellows a taste of working in a newsroom, including peer review within the workshop group and at least two rounds of editing and fact-checking supervised by CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid. The editing team also included Laura Dattaro, Farley, Hede, and Travis. 

The stories are published as part of the New Horizons Newsroom 2023. Additional coverage of ScienceWriters2023 sessions can be found at the website of the National Association of Science Writers.