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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:

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. 

Wayt Gibbs to join CASW as New Horizons program director

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 [email protected].

CASW awards 2019 New Horizons travel fellowships

CASW is happy to annouce that two journalists have been awarded travel fellowships to attend New Horizons in Science briefings at ScienceWriters2019.

Bobbi Booker (@bobbibooker) is an award-winning Philadelphia-based print and broadcast journalist published in The Philadelphia Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer,,, Philadelphia magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Smooth magazine, and numerous online outlets.

Paul Nicolaus (@NicolausWriting) is a freelance writer based in Park Falls, Wisconsin whose work has been published at NPR, Men’s Health, Psychology Today, Outdoor Life, and The Saturday Evening Post.

The fellowships offer a unique introduction to science reporting for freelancer writers and reporters from smaller metropolitan print and broadcast news outlets, with a demonstrated interest in science writing.

CASW also awarded five Regional Travel Fellowships to science writers from Latin America.


Five Latin America travel fellows selected to attend ScienceWriters2019

Five science writers from Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico have been selected to receive Regional Travel Fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2019, the annual conference of U.S. science writers, October 25-29 in State College, Pa. The fellowships were supported by the International Program Fund made possible by donations from U.S. science writers and additional donors and sponsors who supported the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, organized by the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), CASW and the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and held in San Francisco in 2017.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of applications for the 2019 travel fellowships are:

Diego Arguedas Ortiz (@arguedasortiz) founded and serves as the editor of Ojo al Clima (Eye to Climate), the first climate change outlet in Central America, published by Seminario Universidad (The University Weekly) at the University of Costa Rica. He is also a lecturer and coordinator of the bachelor's degree program in the journalism department at the University of Costa Rica. His writing has been published in BBC Future, MIT Technology Review, and Anthropocene, among others. He is a member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC) and the Association of British Science Writers.

Estrella Burgos (@estrellaburgos) is a science writer and editor based in Mexico City. Since 1998, she has served as editor-­in-­chief of the nation’s largest monthly science magazine for adolescents and young adults, ¿Cómo ves?. She is also co-­host of a weekly science radio show, La Araña Patona. Both the broadcast and magazine are projects of the Department of Science Communication at UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where Burgos has worked over 20 years as an editor, writer, and radio and television presenter and scriptwriter. She covers astronomy, environmental issues, health, biology and biomedicine. She is a member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC).

Carmina de la Luz (@luzspica) is a freelance science journalist whose work is published regularly in El Universal, a widely read national newspaper in Mexico. She writes about a broad range of topics and has a special interest in covering stories about social aspects of science such as gender perspectives, policies and investments. She is a member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC).

Cecilia Fernández Castañón (@cecifercas) is a public information officer and science writer for the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina. Based in the northeastern region of the country she covers environment, health, biology, social sciences, conservation and paleontology. She has taught workshops on science communication at the National University of the Northeast and is a member of NASW and the Argentinean Network of Science Journalism (RADPC).

David Salcedo (@ian_fr) is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics at UNAM and a reporter for Symbiosis MX, a TVUNAM broadcast. He graduated from Facultad de Estudios Superior Aragón, UNAM, with a degree in communication and journalism and has published print, digital and radio stories at Milenio, Habitat Ciencia, El Punto Crítico and other sites. He is a member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC).

Judges for the competition included three 2018 Regional Travel Fellows: Eduardo Franco Berton (@Edufrancoberton), a Bolivia-based investigative journalist on environment and wildlife and founder of; Helen Mendes Lima (@iamhelenmendes), international news editor of Gazeta do Povo and a freelance science journalist based in Curitiba, Brazil; and Sebastián Rodriguez (@sebastianrodvar), a journalist at Semanario Universidad in Costa Rica and a regular contributor to Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Additional judges were Cindy Hawes (@cindyhawes1), a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Mexico City; Robin Lloyd (@robinlloyd99), a freelance science journalist based in New York City and CASW's vice president; and Sarah Zielinski (@SarahZielinski), managing editor of Science News for Students and an NASW board member.


Ryan Cross wins Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award

The winner of the 2019 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, is Ryan Cross, assistant editor at Chemical & Engineering News.

Cross received the award and its $1,000 prize for three stories:

•    Can mRNA disrupt the drug industry?
•    Epitranscriptomics: The new RNA code and the race to drug it
•    Adjusting the yin and yang of the cell

The panel of judges cited Cross for his exemplary beat reporting on highly technical topics. They were impressed with his deep and diligent reporting, strong narratives, good use of people to tell stories, and commitment to explaining both the promise and the limitations of fields of science that have often been widely hyped.  

Cross was selected as the winner from a record-high number of submissions—59 in total.

“I’ve always loved science,” Cross says. He wanted to be a paleontologist when he was five. After studying neuroscience and genetics as an undergraduate at Purdue University, he started a PhD program in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology—and a bit of dissatisfaction crept in. “I love the culture, politics and economics that influence science, but as a bench scientist, you are told to stay out of those,” he explains. So at the last possible moment before the deadline, he applied to Boston University’s science journalism program. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I really caught the journalism bug,” he says. “It was what I had always wanted to do, but had never thought about before.” After several internships, Cross landed at C&EN. He is based in Boston.

The award will be presented by the Evert Clark Fund and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing as part of the annual ScienceWriters awards ceremony on Saturday, October 26. The award ceremony will take place during ScienceWriters2019, which includes the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) workshop program and CASW’s New Horizons in Science briefings, in State College, Pa.

Judges for the 2019 award were:
•    Laura Helmuth, health, science, and environment editor at the Washington Post;
•    Richard Harris, science correspondent at National Public Radio, CASW board member, and author of Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions;
•    Eugene Russo, senior editor of the Front Matter section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS);
•    David Lindley, author of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science and other books about physics; and
•    Susan Milius, life sciences writer at Science News.

The Clark/Payne Award was created to encourage young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting in all fields of science. It is given each year in honor of journalist Ev Clark, who offered friendship and advice to a generation of young reporters. The annual judging is organized by John Carey, former long-time senior correspondent for Business Week and colleague of Seth Payne, who raised money for the award in memory of Ev Clark. CASW now administers the fund and manages the submission process and presentation of the award. This is the 31st year of the award.

Entrants must be age 30 or younger. The deadline for submissions is the end of June each year. For more information, please see the Evert Clark/ Seth Payne Award page.

Registration opens for ScienceWriters2019

Online registration for ScienceWriters2019, featuring the 57th presentation of CASW's New Horizons in Science briefings, is now open at The conference will take place October 25-29 in State College, Pa., hosted by Penn State University. Attendance at the New Horizons program is free, thanks to the generous support of Penn State and additional sponsors. Attendees may also register for the professional development workshop program of the National Association of Science Writers; NASW members attend at a special rate and earn an early-bird discount until September 5. Penn State is also offering a Lunch with a Scientist menu and an array of tours and field trips.

The black hole, Cygnus X-1, pulls matter from the blue star beside it. Topics in astrophysics and cosmology will be prominent in this year's New Horizons program. Image: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

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:

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 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.


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