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ScienceWriters 2010: A preview

As Science Writers 2009 draws to a close this week in Austin, Texas, our thoughts are turning to . . . next year. The 2010 annual meetings of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for Advancement of Science Writing begins Nov. 4, 2010 at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. To get an idea of how next year's events are shaping up, I spent some time in Austin with NASW President Mariette DiChristina and CASW President Cristine Russell.

 

As Science Writers 2009 draws to a close this week in Austin, Texas, our thoughts are turning to . . . next year. The 2010 annual meetings of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for Advancement of Science Writing begins Nov. 4, 2010 at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. To get an idea of how next year's events are shaping up, I spent some time in Austin with NASW President Mariette DiChristina and CASW President Cristine Russell.

ScienceWriters 2010 will mark important milestones for both groups. Next year is the 75th anniversary of the founding of NASW and 50th anniversary of the start of CASW. (And — for the Bulldogs among us — Yale celebrates its 200th birthday in 2010.) The joint annual meeting of CASW, which is focused on education, and NASW, which is focused on the professional needs of members, is the only one by and for science writers. The two groups first merged their annual meetings in fall 2005. The collaboration is a natural one; CASW was created in 1960 by members of NASW as a non-profit educational foundation to advance the craft of science writing.

Although the two organizations have much history to reflect on during their anniversary years, DiChristina and Russell said the 2010 meeting will look to the future. NASW members can expect to see workshops that offer pointers on navigating the fractured media landscape — or, as DiChristina put it, "tools for a changing world." New media topics covered in Austin workshops included visual journalism, Web writing and social media tools — subjects that have moved to the front-burner in the industry over the last five years or so. Similarly, the CASW-sponsored New Horizons in Science workshops "will have some sense of looking ahead," Russell said, adding that 2010 meeting attendees can count on hearing from top scientists from Yale and other universities around the U.S.

Workshops and other events are in the planning stages. If you have a suggestion for an NASW workshop topic, please contact Nancy Shute, chair of the 2010 workshop committee. And stay tuned to www.sciencewriters2010.org and http://www.casw.org for more information on the upcoming meetings in New Haven.

Denise Gellene, a 2009 NASW Freelance Fellow, is a former Los Angeles Times science writer and frequent contributor to Xconomy. She lives in Arcadia, Calif.