Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

New Horizons

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Applications now accepted for regional travel fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2019

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Science writers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to apply for regional travel fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2019, a conference to be held Oct. 25-29 in State College, PA, USA.

The travel grants will enable up to six science writers from the region to join their U.S. colleagues at the annual conference, which combines professional development workshops organized by the National Association of Science Writers with the New Horizons in Science research briefings presented by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. ScienceWriters2019 will be hosted by Penn State University.

Fellowship applications may be submitted through July 21 using this online form: https://casw.submittable.com/submit/117630/sciencewriters2019-international-travel-fellowships

Supporting science journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean was a special goal of the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists. The ScienceWriters fellowships are intended to continue to support networking and professional development throughout the region and to strengthen ties between associations in the U.S. and elsewhere in the hemisphere. 

ScienceWriters2019 will include many sessions of special interest to Latin American and Caribbean science writers. CASW's New Horizons in Science program will include sessions on new threats to amphibian biodiversity in the Americas and new research on Caribbean coral reefs, as well as multiple sessions on topics related to climate, health and antibiotic resistance. NASW's professional development sessions will include a "PowerPitch" session for freelancers and topics such as "Data Security in an Anti-Science Climate;" "Science, Not Stigma: Navigating Empowering Language," and "Digital Map Making for Science Journalists: How and why to incorporate maps into your reporting and storytelling."

Fellowship applications may be submitted by anyone who writes, edits or produces science news, information or commentary for the public in Latin America and the Caribbean; teaches science journalism; or is a member of a World Federation of Science Journalists member association, and who would be unable to attend ScienceWriters2019 without financial assistance. English language fluency is required. Applicants should plan to submit samples of their work, a resumé, and at least one letter of recommendation. Preference will be given to journalists who have not attended a recent international conference.

The grants will cover economy airfare, ground transportation, visa application costs, four nights’ hotel accommodation, and complimentary registration for the NASW workshop program. An additional subsidy for meals, incidentals, and field trips may be provided based on demonstrated need. Conference organizers will reserve hotel rooms; other covered expenses will be reimbursed by CASW.

A fellowships committee will review applications and notify recipients of the travel fellowships by the first week of August, when organizers will open online meeting registration and publish the program for ScienceWriters2019. Fellows will be expected to register promptly and apply immediately for travel visas if needed.

The fellowship funds were made possible by cost savings from WCSJ2017, held in San Francisco in October 2017, and generous contributions to WCSJ2017 from U.S. science writers and others. NASW and CASW organized the conference in collaboration with the World Federation of Science Journalists. 

CASW invites "Science Where You Are" proposals

As part of the virtual activities that will replace the traditional ScienceWriters conference in fall 2020, CASW invites science writers to join in sharing science experiences and presentations from their locales with colleagues this October.

With the planned Colorado conference postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic, ScienceWriters2020 will not have a host institution to organize field trips, lunches with scientists, and lab tours. But CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid sees a silver lining. "This year we have the unique opportunity to travel virtually to the many institutions ScienceWriters may never be able to visit," she said. "And so CASW is inviting everyone to share the science of where YOU are."

Versión en español

Proposals for virtual science presentations may be submitted until July 27. A panel of CASW board members will select up to a half-dozen lively, immersive experiences that take advantage of the online medium. Winning submitters will be responsible for production. During August and September, CASW will work with the winners to finalize, schedule, advertise and present #ScienceWhereUR events.

CASW is collaborating with Martha Heil and Ellen Kuwana, co-chairs of the Congress of Regional Science Writers Groups, to extend an invitation to all the regional science writing groups. "We are looking for a program that is diverse in every respect," Reid said. "We hope science writers will hear new voices, experience new and surprising science, and go new places."

Who Can Enter

Any science writer, institution, institute, or other organization in the Americas can propose a #ScienceWhereUR presentation. 

Deadline

Deadline extended to July 27 (5:00 pm Pacific)

Selection and Production

Winners will be notified by August 5. The program for ScienceWriters2020 will be announced on August 11. Preliminary information about #ScienceWhereUR will be included.

Winners will have until mid-September to complete production. Details of #ScienceWhereUR will be announced during September, and presentations will be scheduled between September 26 and October 16.

Guidelines and a submission form may be found here.

ScienceWriters2020 pivots to virtual program

After discussing the options for the annual ScienceWriters conference in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CASW and the National Association of Science Writers have decided to replace the conference with a series of online activities this fall. The following joint statement was issued May 7, 2020:

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and the National Association of Science Writers have been working closely together to determine the best course forward for the joint ScienceWriters2020 meeting.

Following a series of thoughtful, forward-thinking conversations among the meeting hosts and partners, we have together decided that it is unwise to continue with a plan for a large, in-person October gathering, given the unknown and potentially high level of risk for individuals.

We will postpone our gathering in Colorado, originally scheduled for October 2020, until the fall of 2021. The University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are excited to welcome us to the Rocky Mountains next year, and we are delighted that we will still have an opportunity to gather in Colorado as a community. We will meet for ScienceWriters2022 in Chicago as planned, and move our Memphis conference to 2023. We are incredibly grateful to our hosts in Colorado and Tennessee for their flexibility and deep empathy.

We are saddened at having to forgo a beloved annual tradition, if just for a year. More than ever, it seems essential to see and support our colleagues. Yet with this grief comes opportunity. Together NASW and CASW will develop a series of virtual conference events for October. In addition to creating opportunities for professional connection and learning, these online events will provide an opportunity for those who have not experienced a ScienceWriters conference to participate with no travel required. We will spend the summer working with session organizers, speakers, and partner organizations to think about the best ways to engage and learn together online. We will use the time to think creatively about how to provide professional development sessions, science briefings and discussions, networking events, and even a tour or two in engaging, virtual formats.

We invite you to stay tuned to ScienceWriters2020.org for details on our evolving virtual experiment, and we send our best wishes for continued health and safety to you and yours.

Executive Director Rosalind Reid added:

"I'd like to extend special thanks to our hosting partners: the collaborating University of Colorado campuses, who were preparing to host this year's conference, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which was to host ScienceWriters2021 and will now be our host in 2023. Both hosting groups have been extraordinarily thoughtful and generous in working with us to reschedule these events.

"In addition," Reid said, "CASW was working with several partners to offer training activities this fall, in addition to our New Horizons in Science program. We hope to be able to present parts of the science program and workshops online this fall, with a fuller program when science writers are able to meet in person."

Workshop reporting captures highlights of 57th New Horizons briefing

Eleven talented science graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were transformed into science news reporters during ScienceWriters2019 in State College, Pa. Oct. 25-29, 2019, providing journalistic coverage of nearly half of CASW's New Horizons in Science sessions at the conference..

The CASW sessions provide the raw material for stories prepared by the participants in ComSciCon-SciWri 2019, a workshop produced by the national organization ComSciCon in collaboration with CASW and with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The junior researchers attended to strengthen their science communication and storytelling skills and learn more about science journalism.

Workshop organizers Jason Chang, Jordan Harrod, Samantha Jones, and Stephanie DeMarco selected the participants from universities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin through a competitive application process. A day of training and discussion sessions was held at Penn State's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications before the conference, featuring presentations from professional science journalists and communicators. After meeting their conference mentors, participants attended a day of professional development sessions organized by the National Association of Science Writers before the start of the CASW New Horizons program.

Nine participants chose to cover New Horizons sessions; two more conducted interviews with scientists. The New Horizons Newsroom for 2019 also includes a story by New Horizons Traveling Fellow Paul Nicolaus. The stories were edited by Jennifer Cox, Hannah Hickey, Betsy Mason, Czerne Reid, and CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid.

CASW thanks the hardworking workshop organizers, presenters, and editors; HHMI, for its generous funding; and the mentors who provided individual advice and professional support to the ComSciCon-SciWri 2019 participants: CASW board members Maggie Koerth-Baker, William Kearney, Betsy Mason, and Ashley Smart, along with Athena Aktipis (University of Arizona), Hannah Hickey (University of Washington), Jane C. Hu (freelance, Seattle), Amy McDermott (Front Matter, PNAS), Tom Ulrich (the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT), Jon Weiner (Kaiser Permanente), and Liz Zubritsky (American Chemical Society).

This was the second ComSciCon-SciWri workshop sponsored by HHMI and produced in collaboration with CASW. The first workshop produced coverage of the 2015 New Horizons in Science program, presented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Image: Flooding at Assateague Island National Seashore from rising sea levels, discussed in the workshop story by R. Kevin Tindell of Arizona State University. Public domain image from the National Park Service.

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