Wayt Gibbs to join CASW as New Horizons program director

W. Wayt Gibbs

CASW is pleased to announce the appointment of Seattle-area science writer and editor W. Wayt Gibbs (@WaytGibbs) as director of New Horizons in Science, CASW’s annual science briefings for science writers. Gibbs will take over with the 2020 New Horizons program, which will be presented in Boulder, Colorado, Oct. 9-13, 2020.

In his new role as New Horizons Program Director, Gibbs will organize an annual update on emerging research developments and issues across all fields of science as part of the annual ScienceWriters conference co-organized by CASW and the National Association of Science Writers. New Horizons in Science, formerly a stand-alone program, has been presented by CASW since 1963.

“The Council staff and board are excited about all that Wayt brings to the role of director of CASW’s most valued and important program: new ideas, intelligence, creativity, and broad knowledge of science and the science writing community,” said Executive Director Rosalind Reid, who has directed New Horizons since 2012. Reid will continue to manage CASW’s role as partner in the ScienceWriters conferences as Gibbs takes on curation of the science program.

Gibbs has worked as a science writer and editor since 1989. He currently freelances as a contributing editor for Scientific American, where he was a member of the editorial board, a staff news writer from 1993 to 1998, and senior writer from 1998 to 2006.

Gibbs is also a contributing editor for IEEE Spectrum magazine and for Anthropocene magazine. His written work has appeared in Science, Nature, The Economist, Discover, Conservation, NBC News, NOVA and numerous other publications. He has contributed podcasts to Scientific American and on-screen commentary to NOVA. His articles have been included in the Best American Science Writing anthology and have won the AAAS Science Journalism Award, the Wistar Science Journalism Award, and others.

Since 2006, Gibbs has worked at Intellectual Ventures with founder/CEO Nathan Myhrvold. Highlights of that role include serving as editor-in-chief and project manager of the award-winning books Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, editing several highly cited journal articles in planetary science and paleobiology, producing dozens of keynote presentations, including TED talks, and working on documentaries televised on Netflix, the BBC, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and PBS.

“Wayt’s wide experience in all those levels of the science information system should serve as excellent preparation for programming the country’s widest-ranging conference for science writers,” said Alan Boyle, who is CASW’s president as well as aerospace and science editor for GeekWire. “It takes a true polymath to pull off a successful New Horizons program, and I think we’ve found one.”

Gibbs, who currently serves as vice president of the Northwest Science Writers Association, is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned degrees in physics and wrote for two student newspapers. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT 1999-2000 and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Anyone with program suggestions can email