Council for the Advancement of Science Writing



Shirley Tilghman presents the sixth Patrusky Lecture

Shirley M. Tilghman, a mammalian developmental geneticist who served as the 19th president of Princeton University, presented the sixth Patrusky Lecture on Sunday, October 14, 2018, during CASW's New Horizons in Science program at ScienceWriters2018 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Tilghman chose "Righting the Ship: Systemic Flaws in the Biomedical Research Enterprise" as the theme of her address to science writers. Her talk celebrated the promise of remarkable new methods in biomedical science while pointing to structural problems that may prevent society from reaping their benefits. She gave her view of the roots of this dilemma and offered some solutions. A video recording of her talk is available on the Patrusky Lectures page.

Along with leading scientists Bruce Alberts, Judith Kimble and Harold Varmus, Tilghman is currently engaged in a project called "Rescuing Biomedical Research," which advocates reforming the U.S. research system in order to encourage creative and innovative research and boost basic science.

Shirley TilghmanIn a 2014 essay and 2015 opinion piece in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., Alberts, Tilghman, Varmus and Marc Kirschner of Harvard University decried logistical, administrative and conceptual logjams resulting from the hypercompetitive environment of U.S. biomedical science, the burden of grant writing and administration, the distorting effects of the publishing and government funding systems, and the nearly two decades of training now required to become an independent investigator.

About Shirley M. Tilghman

It was not Tilghman's first appearance on CASW's New Horizons in Science stage. During her earlier research career, she studied the way in which genes are organized in the genome and regulated during early development and was a member of the team that cloned the first mammalian gene. She was one of the founding members of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research. 

A member of the Princeton faculty since 1986, she was named president of the university in 2001. She returned to teaching in 2013.

As the sixth Patrusky Lecturer, Tilghman was presented a certificate and crystal sculpture, one of many honors bestowed upon her. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, the Genetics Society of America Medal, and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and The Royal Society of London. She serves as a trustee of Amherst College, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Simons Foundation, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. She also serves on the Science Advisory Board of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is a director of The Broad Institute and is a Fellow of the Corporation of Harvard College.

About the Patrusky Lectures and Ben Patrusky

Patrusky Lecture prism and certificateTilghman joins a list of distinguished scientists invited to give an authoritative and expansive address at the annual ScienceWriters meeting, which combines the workshop program of the National Association of Science Writers with CASW's New Horizons in Science briefings. Previous lectures, all available on video here, were given by George M. Whitesides of Harvard University (2013), Donald Johanson of Arizona State University and the Institute of Human Origins (2014), Jo Handelsman of Yale University and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2015), Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas at Austin (2016), and Susan Desmond-Hellmann of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2017). 

Ben Patrusky embarked on his science-writing career in the early 1960s after earning a degree in electrical engineering from City College of New York and winning a science-writing fellowship at Columbia. After a dozen years as the research writer and science editor for the American Heart Association, in 1975 he embarked on a freelance science-writing career and took charge of the New Horizons in Science briefing program for CASW, becoming executive director in 1988. He has also orchestrated science journalism seminars for, among others, the National Academy of Sciences, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Widely published and the author of two books, he is the recipient of the Science Journalism Award from the American Institute of Physics and the American Chemical Society’s Grady-Stack Award. He is an honorary member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, and for 18 years, until 2008, served as a member of the board of trustees of Science Service (now the Society for Science and the Public), publisher of Science News. Ben is a long-time member of the board of governors of one of the nation’s oldest press clubs, The Society of the Silurians.

12 Latin American Fellows receive grants to attend ScienceWriters2018

Twelve science writers from eight Latin American countries have been selected to receive the first Regional Travel Fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2018, the annual conference of U.S. science writers, scheduled for October 12-16 in Washington, DC.

Mónica Baró Sanchez Nora Bär
Pablo Correa Eduardo Franco Berton
Henrique Kugler Rodrigo Pérez Ortega
Helen Mendes Lima Jessica Maes
Sebastián Rodríguez Laura Vargas-Parada
Michelle Soto Mendez Alexa Vélez Zuazo

Selected from 38 highly competitive applications for the 2018 travel fellowships were:

Nora Bär (@norabarArgentina) Nora is the science and health editor of the major daily La Nación and producer of the radio program “El Arcón” on science, health, and technology.

Mónica Baró Sanchez (Cuba) As a reporter and editorial board member of Periodismo de Barrio, Mónica covers stories about the environment, gender violence and public health.

Pablo Correa (@pcorrea78, Colombia) Pablo is a science, health and environment reporter and editor for the newspaper El Espectador. He also created Infoamazonía Colombia, a data journalism initiative to disseminate information about the Colombian Amazon rainforest.

Eduardo Franco Berton (@edufrancobertonBolivia) Eduardo writes for Mongabay Latam and the Earth Journalism Network and is the founder of the Environmental Information Network, a digital news and information service about the environment, science and conservation.

Henrique Kugler (Brazil) A freelance journalist, Henrique has written for Physics World, and Folha de São Paulo, Brazil’s largest daily newspaper. He has a special interest in sustainable agriculture and is currently a Fellow with the Paraná Reference Centre for Agroecology.

Jessica Maes (Brazil) A former writer and editor for the Federal University of Paraná, Maes writes for and contributes magazine pieces to Gazeta do Povo, Brazil’s fourth largest newspaper.

Helen Mendes Lima (@iamhelenmendesBrazil) Helen is editor of the Ideas section of Gazeta do Povo and presents the newspaper’s weekly podcast.

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (@rpocisv, Mexico) Currently a student in the Science Communication Program at UC Santa Cruz, Rodrigo is a freelancer who has worked for Nature and Medscape en Español and has been an Early Career Fellow with The Open Notebook.

Sebastián Rodríguez (@sebas211297Costa Rica) Sebastián is a staff journalist at the national newspaper Semanario Universidad, reporting for the Ojo al Clima section. He also does freelance reporting on climate, biodiversity and sustainability issues for and other outlets.

Michelle Soto Mendez (@michellesoto80, Costa Rica) Michelle is a freelance writer with varied experience, including staff positions with the national publications Perfil and La Nación. She currently writes chiefly on environment and geology.

Laura Vargas-Parada (@lavapa, Mexico) Laura is the founding director of the Science Communication Office of the Center for Complexity Sciences at UNAM, Mexico’s national university. She also teaches science journalism at UNAM and contributes to the newspaper El Economista and Medscape en Español.

Alexa Vélez Zuazo (@alexavz, Peru) An investigative journalist with 15 years’ experience, Alexa is Senior Editor for Mongabay Latam. She has worked in television and founded a production company.

The recipients will participate in the professional development workshops presented by the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and attend CASW’s New Horizons in Science briefings. In response to a call for session proposals, Eduardo Franco Berton and a Peru-based colleague have organized a special session on rapid hydroelectric development in Amazonia and the challenges and opportunities for writers interested in covering the continuing environmental crisis in the region. Fellows will also attend a bilingual preconference workshop in successful story-pitching for freelance writers.

These special fellowships were made possible by donations from U.S. science writers and additional sponsors who contributed to the travel fund for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, organized by NASW, CASW and World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and held in San Francisco, CA in October 2017.

The WCSJ2017 organizers awarded 72 professional and 22 student travel fellowships to support international attendance. Cost savings allowed some of the donated funds to be rolled over to support travel to the 2018 conference to continue the regional network-building that began at the World Conference.

Judges for the 2018 Regional Travel Fellowships were Iván Carrillo, a Mexican science journalist who anchors the national television program Los Observadores-TV Azteca; Robin Lloyd, a New York freelance journalist who is vice president of CASW and chaired the WCSJ2017 Fellowships Committee; Debbie Ponchner, a Costa Rican freelance journalist and consultant, CASW board member and former editor of Scientific American en Español; Angela Posada-Swafford, a Miami-based freelance science writer, documentary producer and author; Valeria Román, an Argentinian science journalist and former board member of the World Federation of Science Journalists; and Emily Willingham, a California scientist, journalist and blogger and member of the NASW board.

Selected as alternates to receive fellowships if any of the selected fellows are unable to attend were Lucy Calderon Pineda, a Guatemalan freelance journalist covering environment and health; Débora Gutierrez of Universidad Diego Portales in Chile; Argentinian freelance journalist Federico Kukso; Carlos Andrés Urrego Zuluaga, a Colombian newspaper and magazine editor and instructor; and Sergio Villagrán, a Chilean biologist and freelance writer working for the biology communication agency Divulgociencia.

Rosalind Reid, executive director of CASW, thanked the judges for their work and extended special thanks to the individuals who donated to the David Perlman Travel Fellowships fund for WCSJ2017 and to Mexico’s Fundación Ealy Ortiz.

“One of the goals of WCSJ2017 was to enable full participation by our Latin American and Caribbean colleagues, who made significant contributions to the conference,” said Reid. “We’re thrilled that U.S. science writers who were not able to attend last year’s conference will be able to meet and learn from these accomplished journalists and communicators at ScienceWriters2018.”


New Horizons in Science 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2018 to Monday, October 15, 2018

The 56th edition of the New Horizons in Science briefings was presented in Washington, DC, as part of ScienceWriters2018.

Hosts & Sponsors: 

CASW is able to present New Horizons in Science free of charge, thanks to our host institution, the George Washington University. 

Taking full advantage of its unparalleled location in the heart of Washington, D.C., GW conducts research that both advances discovery and influences policy. Its faculty and students have developed one-of-a-kind research partnerships with the federal government as well as many of the world’s most influential scientific and technical organizations. As a result, GW’s federal research expenditures have grown more than 50 percent since 2009, and the university has significantly increased investment in its research enterprise.

The culmination of this redoubled research focus is GW’s state-of-the-art, 500,000-square-foot Science & Engineering Hall, the largest academic building dedicated to these fields in the nation’s capital. The university is home to leading experts on subjects ranging from HIV/AIDS, cybersecurity and autism to robotics, nanotechnology and sustainable ecosystems. GW researchers are generating breakthroughs that will advance human health, expand our understanding of nature and create new technological innovations that will have an impact on millions of lives. 

GW thanks the additional sponsors who have made the 2018 conference possible.

Diamond Sponsor


Platinum Sponsor

GW Office of the Vice President for Research


Gold Sponsors

GW Milken Institute School of Public Health • GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences


Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Impossible Foods


University of Notre Dame National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke SciLine National Science Foundation National Eye INstitute USP
American Association for Cancer Research Johns Hopkins University Master of Arts in Science Writing University of Maryland Georgetown University Medical Center AAAS EurekAlert! Palladian Partners
NIST | National Institute of Standards and Technology MedImmune GW Virginia Science & Technology Campus MIT Press GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences GW School of Nursing



Abre el proceso de aplicación para becas de viaje regional para asistir a ScienceWriters2018

English version 

Se invita a escritores de ciencia de América Latina y el Caribe a solicitar becas de viaje regionales para asistir a ScienceWriters2018, una conferencia que se realizará del 12 al 16 de octubre en Washington, DC.

Las becas de viaje permitirán que hasta 12 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 ScienceWriters2018 se llevará a cabo en la Universidad George Washington, institución anfitriona del evento.

Las solicitudes de becas se pueden enviar hasta el 17 de julio utilizando este formulario en línea

Apoyar el periodismo científico en América Latina y el Caribe fue un objetivo especial de WCSJ2017, que incluyó un taller previo a la conferencia de un día de duración y becas de viaje patrocinadas por la Fundación Ealy Ortiz, con sede en México. Las becas que se otorgarán en este 2018 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.

Durante la convocatoria de propuestas para ScienceWriters2018, los organizadores dieron la bienvenida a varias propuestas para sesiones con énfasis regional. Como resultado, la conferencia de este año contará con sesiones centradas en la Amazonia y en cómo escribir para audiencias hispanas, así como un taller previo a la conferencia que ofrecerá herramientas para periodistas freelance internacionales.

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 ScienceWriters2018 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.

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 ScienceWriters2018. 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. NASW y CASW organizaron la conferencia en colaboración con la Federación Mundial de Periodistas Científicos (WFSJ). Gracias al generoso apoyo de los patrocinadores, los organizadores pudieron otorgar 72 becas de viaje para periodistas profesionales y 22 para estudiantes con el objetivo de apoyar la asistencia internacional a la WCSJ2017, incluidas 11 becas de viaje David Perlman financiadas por $40.000 en donaciones recaudados entre escritores de ciencia de EE. UU.

Applications now accepted for regional travel fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2018

Version en español 

Science writers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to apply for regional travel fellowships to attend ScienceWriters2018, a conference to be held Oct. 12-16 in Washington, DC.

The travel grants will enable up to 12 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. ScienceWriters2018 will be hosted by George Washington University.

Fellowship applications may be submitted through July 17 using this online form:

Supporting science journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean was a special goal of WCSJ2017, which included a day-long preconference workshop and travel fellowships sponsored by the Mexico-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz. The 2018 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.

During the call for proposals for ScienceWriters2018, organizers welcomed several proposals for sessions with a regional emphasis. As a result, this year’s conference will feature sessions focused on the Amazon and writing for Hispanic audiences, as well as a preconference workshop offering skill-building for international freelancers.

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 ScienceWriters2018 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.

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 ScienceWriters2018. 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 the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, held in San Francisco in October 2017. NASW and CASW organized the conference in collaboration with the World Federation of Science Journalists. Thanks to generous sponsorship support, the organizers were able to award 72 professional and 22 student travel fellowships to support international attendance at WCSJ2017, including 11 David Perlman Travel Fellowships funded by $40,000 in donations collected by U.S. science writers.

Abren convocatoria de becas de viaje para que periodistas regionales asistan a reunión en Estados Unidos

El Consejo para el Avance de la Escritura Científica (CASW), en asociación con la Asociación Nacional de Escritores Científicos (NASW), se complace en anunciar que se ofrecerán becas de viaje regionales especiales para permitir que colegas de América Latina y el Caribe se unan a nosotros en la reunión de ScienceWriters2018 que se llevará a cabo en Washington, DC, del 12 al 16 de octubre próximos.

Estas becas de viaje, financiadas con el apoyo de contribuciones privadas de periodistas y escritores científicos de los Estados Unidos y otros países a la Décima Conferencia Mundial de Periodistas Científicos en 2017(WCSJ2017), están destinadas a fortalecer las conexiones realizadas durante dicha reunión. Esperamos que algunas sesiones en ScienceWriters2018 se centren en problemas transfronterizos y regionales en temas de ciencia y redacción de temas científicos de especial preocupación en las Américas.

Se otorgará preferencia a personas que formen parte del programa, ya sea como organizadores de la sesión o conferencistas, y a aquellos que participan activamente en el apoyo del periodismo científico en América Latina.

Las aplicaciones para las becas se abrirán más adelante esta primavera. Para más detalles, visite

English version

Regional travel fellowships available to support travel to ScienceWriters2018

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, in partnership with the National Association of Science Writers, is pleased to announce that special Regional Travel Fellowships will be provided to enable colleagues from Latin America and the Caribbean to join us for ScienceWriters2018 in Washington, D.C., October 12-16. 

These travel awards, funded with support from private contributions from U.S. science writers and others to the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in 2017, are intended to strengthen the connections made during WCSJ2017. It is our hope that some sessions at ScienceWriters2018 will focus on cross-border and regional issues in science writing and science topics of special concern across the Americas.

Preference for funding will be given to those applicants who are part of the program as either session organizers or speakers and to those applicants who are actively involved in supporting science journalism in Latin America.

Applications for the fellowships will open later this spring.

Versión en español


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