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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. 

Aplique agora para bolsas de viagem para participar do ScienceWriters2019

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Escritores de ciência de toda a América Latina e Caribe são convidados a se inscrever para bolsas  de viagem para participar do ScienceWriters2019, uma conferência que será realizada de 25 a 29 de outubro em State College, PA, EUA. Os subsídios de viagem permitirão que até seis escritores de ciência se juntem a seus colegas americanos na conferência anual, que combina workshops de desenvolvimento profissional organizados pela Associação Nacional de Escritores em Ciências com os Novos Horizontes em Ciencia, sessoes sobre os ultimos avancos cientificos, apresentados pelo Conselho para o Avanço da Escrita Científica (CASW). ScienceWriters2019 será patrocinado pela Penn State University.

Os pedidos de bolsa devem ser enviados até o dia 21 de julho usando o formulário on-line: https://casw.submittable.com/submit/117630/sciencewriters2019-international-travel-fellowships

Apoio ao jornalismo científico na América Latina e no Caribe foi um objetivo especial da Conferência Mundial de Jornalistas Científicos de 2017. As bolsas da ScienceWriters pretendem continuar a apoiar o desenvolvimento de rede de contatos e o desenvolvimento profissional em toda a região e a fortalecer os laços entre associações nos EUA e em outros lugares do hemisfério.

O ScienceWriters2019 incluirá sessões de interesse especial para os escritores de ciências da América Latina e do Caribe. O programa Novos Horizontes na Ciência do CASW incluirá sessões sobre novas ameaças à biodiversidade de anfíbios nas Américas e novas pesquisas sobre os recifes de corais do Caribe, alem de várias sessões com tópicos relacionados ao clima, saúde e resistência a antibióticos. As sessões de desenvolvimento profissional da NASW incluirão uma sessão "PowerPitch" para freelancers e tópicos como "Segurança de Dados em um Clima Anti-Ciência"; "Ciência, não estigma: navegando na linguagem de capacitação" e "Criação de mapas digitais para jornalistas de ciências: como e por que incorporar mapas nos seus relatórios e narração de histórias."

Os pedidos de bolsas podem ser enviados por qualquer pessoa que escreva, edite ou produza notícias científicas, informações ou comentários para o público na América Latina e no Caribe; ensina jornalismo científico; ou é membros de uma associação afiliada a Federação Mundial de Jornalistas Científicos e que não poderá comparecer ao ScienceWriters2019 sem assistência financeira. A fluência em inglês é necessária. Os candidatos deverão submeter amostras de seu trabalho, currículo e pelo menos uma carta de recomendação. Será dada preferência a jornalistas que não tenham participado recentemente de uma conferência internacional. Os subsídios cobrirão a passagem aérea econômica, o transporte terrestre, os custos de solicitação de visto, quatro noites de acomodação no hotel e inscrição gratuita para o programa de oficinas da NASW. Um subsídio adicional para refeições, incidentes e viagens de campo pode ser fornecido com base na necessidade demonstrada. Os organizadores da conferência reservarão quartos de hotel; outras despesas cobertas serão reembolsadas pelo CASW.

O comitê de bolsas revisará as inscrições e notificará os destinatários das bolsas de viagem até a primeira semana de agosto, quando os organizadores abrirão o registro de reuniões on-line e publicarão o programa para o ScienceWriters2019. Espera-se que os bolsistas se registrem imediatamente e solicitem imediatamente vistos de viagem, se necessário. Os fundos da bolsa foram possíveis graças à economia de custos da WCSJ2017, realizada em São Francisco em outubro de 2017, e generosas contribuições de escritores científicos americanos e outros à WCSJ2017. A NASW e a CASW organizaram a conferência em colaboração com a Federação Mundial de Jornalistas Científicos.

Steven Squyres to present seventh Patrusky Lecture at ScienceWriters2019

Planetary scientist Steven W. Squyres, lead scientist for the long-lived Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, has been selected by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) to present the seventh Patrusky Lecture on October 27, 2019, as part of CASW’s New Horizons in Science program at the ScienceWriters2019 conference.

Squyres is a seasoned explorer of our solar system, having participated in NASA’s Voyager and Magellan missions before becoming principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. That mission became one of NASA’s longest and most fruitful for science.

When the twin rovers landed on Mars in 2004, they were expected to explore for 90 Martian days; instead, they roamed the Red Planet for years, providing a bonanza of information about Mars. Spirit lasted until 2010, while Opportunity stayed on the job until it lost contact with Earth a year ago during a Martian dust storm.

“From breaking new ground in planetary science to assessing the course of human spaceflight, Steve has played leading roles on a wide swath of the final frontier,” said CASW President Alan Boyle, aerospace and science editor at GeekWire. “He’s the perfect Patrusky Lecturer for a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing as well as a rising tide for America’s space effort.”

About Steven Squyres

Squyres is the James A. Weeks Professor of physical sciences at Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1981 before leaving for five years of postdoctoral research at the NASA Ames Research Center. He has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions, starting with his work analyzing imaging data from Voyager’s encounters with Jupiter and Saturn as a graduate student, and is especially known for his work on the history and distribution of water on Mars. His research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces; the geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, such as Jupiter’s moon Europa with its possible liquid water ocean; the tectonics of Venus; and planetary gamma-ray and X-ray spectroscopy.

Squyres was a member of the imaging team for the Cassini mission to Saturn and participated in the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous–Shoemaker mission. The Mars Exploration Rovers are hardly his only connections to the Red Planet. He has served on science teams for Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, Mars 96, Mars Polar Lander and Mars Observer.

He also served two stints as an aquanaut in the Aquarius underwater laboratory, in 2011 and 2012, as part of a space mission simulation program known as NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO.

Squyres has received numerous honors, including the 2004 Carl Sagan Memorial Award from the American Astronautical Society, the 2009 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Communication in Planetary Science and Harold C. Urey Prize in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science from the Franklin Institute, and the Mines Medal from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. He is the author of the 2005 book Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet

Squyres and his team finally shut down the MER mission after 15 years, in February of this year. “If you had told me around the time that we landed that Spirit and Opportunity were going to each accomplish one-quarter or even one-tenth of what they ultimately did, I would have been thrilled,” Squyres told a Cornell writer. He credited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with building such durable vehicles “that Mars just kept giving us more stuff. The payoff has been immensely greater than anything ever imagined in our wildest dreams.”

Recently Squyres served as chair of the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee and as a member of the NASA Advisory Council.

THE PATRUSKY LECTURES

The Patrusky Lectures were launched by CASW in 2013 to honor Ben Patrusky, who served as the council’s executive director for 25 years and as director of the New Horizons in Science program for 30 years. Previous Patrusky Lecturers include chemist George M. Whitesides of Harvard University; paleontologist Donald Johanson of Arizona State University’s Institute of Human Origins; Yale microbiologist Jo Handelsman, then associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Nobel-winning particle physicist Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas at Austin; Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and geneticist Shirley Tilghman, former president of Princeton University

International Program Fund sends science writers to WCSJ2019

Congratulations, WCSJ2019 Travel Fellows!

Among the 100 recipients from 53 countries who won travel fellowships to attend WCSJ2019, the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists, was a group of travel fellows supported by funds from the 10th WCSJ in 2017.

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and National Association of Science Writers, co-organizers of WCSJ2017, created an International Program Fund with proceeds from the conference. Nine of the fellowships are IPF-funded and honor longtime San Francisco Chronicle science reporter and CASW Fellow David Perlman.

Cheers to the Perlman travel fellows (photos from top left to bottom right):

  • Florencia Ballarino (@florballarino), PERFIL, Buenos Aires, Argentina 
  • Will Beaton (Sandbagger News), Colorado State University graduate student from Minneapolis, MN
  • Barbara Fraser (@barbara_fraser), US independent journalist based in Lima, Peru
  • Geoffrey Giller (@geoffreygiller), US freelance science writer based in Berlin, Germany
  • Kelso Harper, multimedia journalist, Scientific American, New York, NY
  • Kendall Powell (@kendallsciwrite), freelance science writer, Lafayette, CO
  • Irene Rodríguez (@irerodsa), science and health journalist, La Nación, San José, Costa Rica
  • John Wendle (@johnwendle), US independent journalist based in Dakar, Senegal
  • Carolyn Wilke (@carolynmwilke), freelance writer, Chicago, IL 

Freelance writer Paul Nicolaus (right) of Park Falls, WI received the Laura Van Dam fellowship, funded by NASW and awarded in memory of past President Laura Van Dam, who died in 2006. Laura was a strong supporter of NASW's commitment to international science writing.

The goal of these fellowships is to encourage continued American participation in the world community and to enable writers to pursue story opportunities abroad at a time when travel budgets are tight for many. Science writers from the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean were eligible for this subset of the WCSJ2019 travel fellowships. All fellowships are administered and selected by the WCSJ2019 organizers.

Read the full announcement from WCSJ2019 here.

Colombian delegation bid for WCSJ2021

The IPF is also providing travel support to the delegation of science journalists who will present their bid in Lausanne to host WCSJ2021 in Colombia. Ximena Serrano Gil of Medellín is president of the Colombian Association of Science Journalism (ACPC), Andrew Wight is an Australian scientific journalist who lives in Medellín and covers how science and technology is transforming the Global South, and Mara Brugés is director of science communication in the department of research and innovation at the University of Rosario in Bogotá.

“We appreciate the support so that delegations from developing economies such as ours can travel to Lausanne to present our offer and fulfill our dream of carrying out in Colombia a World Conference of Science Journalists in Latin America, where biodiversity and multiculturalism will be the protagonists,” Serrano said. CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid added that CASW and NASW hope support from the IPF will boost the chances that a future World Conference can be held in the developing world.

Abre el proceso de aplicación para becas de viaje regional para asistir a ScienceWriters2019

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Se invita a escritores de ciencia de América Latina y el Caribe a solicitar becas de viaje regionales para asistir a ScienceWriters2019, una conferencia que se realizará del 25 al 29 de octubre en State College, PA, USA.

Las becas de viaje permitirán que hasta seis escritores científicos de la región se unan a sus colegas estadounidenses en la conferencia anual, que combina talleres de desarrollo profesional organizados por la Asociación Nacional de Escritores Científicos (NASW) con New Horizons in Science, sesiones sobre los últimos avances de la ciencia, presentadas por el Consejo para el Avance de la Escritura de la Ciencia (CASW).  La reunión ScienceWriters2019 se llevará a cabo en la Universidad Penn State, institución anfitriona del evento.

Las solicitudes de becas se pueden enviar hasta el 21 de julio utilizando este formulario en líneahttps://casw.submittable.com/submit/117630/sciencewriters2019-international-travel-fellowships

Apoyar el periodismo científico en América Latina y el Caribe fue un objetivo especial de WCSJ2017. Las becas que se otorgarán en este 2019 están destinadas a continuar apoyando la creación de redes y el desarrollo profesional en toda la región y para fortalecer los vínculos entre las asociaciones en los EE. UU. y otras partes del hemisferio.

ScienceWriters2019 incluirá muchas sesiones de especial interés para escritores de ciencia de América Latina y el Caribe. El programa New Horizons in Science de CASW incluirá sesiones sobre nuevas amenazas a la biodiversidad de anfibios en las Américas e investigación sobre los arrecifes de coral del Caribe, así como múltiples sesiones sobre temas relacionados al clima, la salud y la resistencia a los antibióticos. Las sesiones de desarrollo profesional de NASW incluirán una sesión de "PowerPitch" para periodistas freelance y temas como "Seguridad de datos en un clima anticientífico", "Ciencia, no estigma: navegando en el lenguaje del empoderamiento" y "Creación de mapas digitales para periodistas científicos: cómo y por qué incorporar mapas en su reporteo y sus historias".

Cualquiera que escriba, edite o produzca noticias, información o comentarios científicos para el público en América Latina y el Caribe; enseñe periodismo científico; o sea miembro de una asociación perteneciente a la Federación Mundial de Periodistas Científicos, y que no pueda asistir a ScienceWriters2019 sin asistencia financiera, puede aplicar a la beca. Se requiere que los postulantes dominen el idioma inglés. Los solicitantes deberán enviar muestras de su trabajo, su currículum y al menos una carta de recomendación. Se dará preferencia a los periodistas que no hayan asistido a una conferencia internacional reciente.

Las becas cubrirán la tarifa aérea en clase económica, el transporte terrestre, los costos de solicitud de visado, el alojamiento en hotel por cuatro noches y el registro gratuito para el programa de talleres de NASW. Se puede proporcionar un subsidio adicional para comidas, gastos imprevistos y excursiones si se demuestra que es requerido por la persona. Los organizadores de la conferencia reservarán las habitaciones de hotel; los demás gastos cubiertos serán reembolsados ​​por CASW.

Un comité revisará las solicitudes y notificará a los ganadores de las becas de viaje la primera semana de agosto, cuando los organizadores abran el registro en línea de la reunión y publiquen el programa para ScienceWriters2019. Se espera que los becarios se registren con prontitud y soliciten sus visas de viaje inmediatamente, de ser estas necesarias.

Los fondos para estas becas de viaje llegan gracias al ahorro de costos durante la 10ma Conferencia Mundial de Periodistas Científicos (WCSJ2017), celebrada en San Francisco en octubre de 2017, y gracias al generoso apoyo de escritores estadounidenses y otros patrocinadores. NASW y CASW organizaron la conferencia en colaboración con la Federación Mundial de Periodistas Científicos (WFSJ). 

CASW seeks New Horizons Program Director

Position Announcement

(June 11, 2019) The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is looking for an enthusiastic, organized, and experienced science writer to curate and produce the New Horizons in Science briefings, the annual program of presentations on research and issues in science offered by CASW since 1963. The New Horizons briefings are a major element of the annual ScienceWriters conference jointly organized by CASW and the National Association of Science Writers.

The ideal candidate will be a U.S.-based senior freelance writer whose work involves covering a wide range of science topics and who is familiar with the needs and interests of the community served by the ScienceWriters conference. The New Horizons Program Director keeps an eye on science news and emerging research throughout the year and consults with colleagues and CASW’s New Horizons Committee in order to create a high-quality, wide-ranging program of approximately 20 sessions. From March through May, the program is developed through confidential interviews with scientists, supplemented by an open call for proposals. In the fall, the Program Director finalizes all arrangements for the science sessions and directs the execution of the program at the conference.

This is a part-time contractual role. The level of effort is estimated at 25%-30% of full time over the course of the year, with the work typically focused on the months March-June and September-October. There is considerable flexibility in working arrangements and scheduling as long as deadlines are met during those periods.

The Program Director will work closely with the CASW Executive Director and NASW and host institution staff and volunteers as well as CASW’s Administrator and Communications Manager. This involves participating in a monthly steering committee conference call, checking in regularly with the Executive Director during times of peak activity, and coordinating program planning with the NASW Programs Committee.

Two annual trips are required: a four-day spring interview trip to the conference site, and attendance at the conference. In addition to covering the costs of required travel, CASW can subsidize a small amount of additional travel for research and will reimburse direct expenses.

The selected candidate will be invited to attend ScienceWriters2019 in late October and shadow CASW Executive Director Rosalind Reid as she produces the 2019 New Horizons program. The New Horizons Program Director will be hired on a contract that extends beyond the ScienceWriters2020 conference. The amount of the contract is $25,000 plus expenses; the deliverables are the science sessions. The contract is renewable annually by mutual agreement following each ScienceWriters meeting.

CASW is committed to diversity and inclusion in all of its activities and practices and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted through July 15. Applicants should submit a resumé and cover letter to [email protected]. The letter should include the applicant’s thoughts about the New Horizons program and describe the applicant’s other current/planned work and plans for balancing the CASW work with reporting and writing duties. The preferred candidate will be an independent journalist. Any affiliations with a scientific organization or institution as a client or employer should be disclosed along with a plan for managing potential conflicts of interests.

Author, author, CASW board member!

Readers are demanding more intelligent nonfiction books, according to the trade publication The Bookseller. Alex Preston writes in The Guardian, “These uncertain times have seen a renewed interest in serious nonfiction, as people try to make sense of an unstable world.”

Four CASW board members are at the forefront of this shift in the nonfiction book market with newly published titles about science. We asked Christie Aschwanden, Deborah Blum, Thomas Lin and Betsy Mason what drives their readers’ interest in science and why books by science writers appeal to publishers. All four, who have published books within the last year, responded enthusiastically to our questions.

Christie Aschwanden

Author of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery, W. W. Norton & Company 2019. A New York Times Sports and Fitness Bestseller.

  • Good to Go is targeted at people who exercise, but it’s not necessarily angled for people who are serious or elite. I wanted to write a book about metascience that the masses would read, so framing these issues around sports studies seemed like a good way to do that.
  • I’m finding that people really are interested in learning more about how to distinguish strong studies from weak ones, and they want to learn how to assess scientific evidence. 
  • [Publishers] know that they can trust science writers to understand scientific concepts and make them interesting to an audience. Science writers have the skills needed to assess studies and find the best references. 
  • Writing a book is really hard, but it’s also been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my career. When you finish, you have a tangible object that is yours. It’s a great feeling.

Deborah Blum

Author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Penguin Press 2018. A New York Times Notable Book of 2018.

  • I'm always interested in the audience that doesn't necessarily follow science, people who have become convinced that it's not important in their everyday life. That's my focus––the science of the everyday and why it matters to all of us. This book is about food safety, about a crusading scientist, about the decisions we make about food policy.
  • I get so many letters from people talking about the importance of science in food safety, and when I go out on a book talk about this book, that's what people want to know. What does science tell us about food safety, and do we follow what research tells us?
  • I think [publishers] get that readers care about these ideas and that a good science writer knows how to take a story like this - with all its complex science and ethical dilemmas - and turn it into a compelling read.
  • I like to build a story around a person or persons whose career is entwined with the science that interests me - but there are also books that explore issues with insight. Another writer once said to me that the most successful science books are either narratives or argument, and I think that's largely true.

Thomas Lin

Editor of The Prime Number Conspiracy: The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta and Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire: The Biggest Ideas in Science from Quanta, both published by The MIT Press in 2018.

  • Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire tells the stories of the best efforts by physicists and biologists over the past five years or so to answer the most basic questions we have about our universe. The Prime Number Conspiracy takes a similar approach but focuses on the mysteries of the mathematical universe. Both books are intended for anyone who's intellectually curious about our natural and logical worlds.
  • As the editor of Quanta magazine, I've seen ample evidence that our science articles appeal to readers from a wide range of backgrounds. We have readers who are high school, college or graduate students, retirees, artists and filmmakers, scientists and engineers, coders and technologists, business people and bankers, and of course writers and journalists. The common thread is that we're all curious and want to know more.
  • Science writers are in a good position to bridge that gap [between lay readers and the scientific literature], to deliver scientific ideas to the public in an accessible and compelling way.
  • All of these new books by CASW board members are excellent: you can't go wrong with any of them.

Betsy Mason

Author, with Greg Miller, of All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey, National Geographic 2018.

  • I often say that people who don't love maps just haven't met the right map, and this book has a map, and a story, for everyone. Our stories use maps as a starting point for stories about people, history, money, politics, and of course, science.
  • Maps are a wonderful framework for stories about science. I've found that when I talk about the maps in the book to a lay audience, they always have the most interest in and ask questions about the maps and stories that touch on science.
  • I think publishers like to work with people who are either experts on a topic or are good storytellers. With journalists, they get both in one. I imagine this combination is particularly attractive with topics like science that have a reputation for being dry and difficult to understand.

These works, of course, are hardly the first by CASW board members and won’t be the last. CASW Treasurer Richard Harris's Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions, was published by Basic Books in 2017. And as he retired from the Council in 2018, Tom Siegfried was polishing his fourth science book, due out this September from Harvard University Press. The Number of the Heavens will tell the story of one of the liveliest controversies in cosmology today, the notion that multiple parallel universes exist.

2019-20 Taylor/Blakeslee Fellows combine passions for science, narrative and a better world

Six talented journalists with experience in research, writing and policy have been awarded prestigious Taylor/Blakeslee University Fellowships for 2019-20 from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing to support graduate training in science writing.

Four Fellows will each receive a $5,000 academic year award. Two more will receive one-semester awards of $2,500, bringing to 167 the number of science writers aided by CASW’s graduate fellowships since 1981.

Chosen for full fellowships from the field of 27 outstanding applicants were:

Alex Matthews

Alexandra Matthews. After completing an undergraduate degree in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and serving with the Peace Corps in Morocco, Matthews began reporting on politics for California's Capitol Weekly. Drawn to stories about science and health, she took on communications work for the Public Library of Science and data collection for a health study. She decided to return to Berkeley for a special dual degree program that combines public health and journalism, she said, because "I want my reporting to transcend the artificial boundaries between 'hard' and 'social' sciences."

Jerimiah OettingJerimiah Oetting is entering the master's program in science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz, after six years of working for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service on a range of conservation-based research projects. He focused on ecology in his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota while pursuing his interest in reporting and writing at student newspapers. As a science journalist, Oetting hopes "to move the public discussion away from its current overriding binary of pro-science/anti-science" and to "positively contribute toward a science-literate and informed world."

Brett SimpsonBrett Simpson. When her father succumbed to a preventable infection in 2018, Simpson found herself powerfully motivated to pursue health and environmental journalism. Effective science journalism, she says, provides the explanations that help us understand our world and feel more responsibility for it. She will enter the narrative journalism master's program at UC Berkeley and report local science news as part of a small instructor-led cohort focusing on the intersections of public health and the environment. Simpson holds a bachelor's degree in English from Princeton. She has written for several California publications and produced multimedia and is a two-time winner of the Ferris Prize for Exceptional Journalism.

As Jonathan Wosen was completing the research for his PhD in immunology at Stanford, he was struck by a realization that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life at the bench. A two-week mini-course on science communication strengthened an inner voice urging him to consider science journalism as a career. During a AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship at the Boston-based biomedical news site STAT, he realized that science and journalism shared the search for truth as a core value. Wosen will join the master's program in science communication at UC Santa Cruz after collecting his doctorate this June. "I always figured I'd have to choose science or journalism," he says. "I'm glad I was dead wrong."

Receiving half-fellowships for the final semester of their master's programs are:

Marcus Banks. Trained in library and information science, Banks reported on technology, libraries and publishing issues between stints as a library manager and director. In 2018, he entered New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) and faced the reality that much science coverage is shallow and lacking in critical reflection or distance. "I want to be a science writer who tells the story of science clearly and fully," he says, adding that science journalism "should always be grounded in real people." Banks is a graduate of Northwestern and earned his library science master's degree at Dominican University.

Dani Leviss. As an undergraduate chemistry major at Drew University, Leviss was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and discovered a love of editing. Also enrolled in NYU SHERP, she is taking an audio storytelling workshop and hopes to build a career that combines science editing and podcasting. Her passions are to be a science and policymaking watchdog, to tell the stories of minority scientists, and to provide the public with "well-reported, engaging stories about the science in their lives."

CASW's graduate fellowships are underwritten by a grant from The Brinson Foundation, a Chicago-based philanthropic organization. They honor the late Rennie Taylor and Alton Blakeslee, science writer and science editor respectively for the Associated Press. More information may be found on this page.

Paired Fellows selected for first mentored science journalism project grants

Two recent Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellows have been awarded CASW’s first Taylor/Blakeslee Mentored Science Journalism Project Fellowships, small grants for independent reporting projects that come with the support of a senior journalist—a previous Fellow—as mentor.

The grants are designed to help early-career science journalists gain important experience by organizing and executing freelance projects at a time when publishers are rarely able to cover the full cost of field reporting. The mentoring component is intended to help ensure the success of the project and also to build a cross-generational scaffold of mentoring within the community of Taylor/Blakeslee Fellows.

The project grants are funded by the Chicago-based Brinson Foundation, which provides underwriting for the Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowships.

The 2019 Taylor/Blakeslee Mentored Project Fellows and their mentors are:

Susie Neilson, Project Fellow, and Phil McKenna, mentor (upper left and right photos)

Neilson, who will earn her master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in May, plans an environmental investigative project called “A Toxic Bargain.” The grant will cover a reporting trip to talk with experts and community members to develop online and magazine articles. Neilson’s mentor will be environment and energy reporter Phil McKenna, a 2005 Taylor/Blakeslee Fellow, now part of an investigative team at InsideClimate News in Boston.

Joshua Sokol, Project Fellow, and Bryn Nelson, mentor (lower left and right photos)

Sokol, who was a 2014 Taylor/Blakeslee Fellow at MIT, plans a trip to scientific fieldwork sites in tropical Africa for “Birth of a Parasite,” a project exploring the evolution of a major infectious disease vector. His mentor will be Seattle-based freelance biology writer Bryn Nelson, a 1998 Taylor/Blakeslee Fellow.

The project grants are funded by the Chicago-based Brinson Foundation, which provides underwriting for the Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellowships.

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