Get involved with ScienceWriters2020

We're mixing it up this year! We'll still kick off ScienceWriters2020 with some great pre-conference offerings on Friday, Oct. 9, and wrap up with some science-y (and scenic) field trips on Tuesday, Oct. 13. What's new? By popular request, NASW's professional development sessions and CASW's New Horizons in Science Briefings will be offered in parallel in all breakout timeslots Saturday-Monday, Oct. 10, 11, and 12. We need your help creating great NASW craft-focused sessions and hybrid "Science + Science Writing" sessions and plenaries. Read on for details and submit your proposals by March 1.

Submit a proposal for an NASW professional development session

It's time to get creative, collaborate with colleagues if you like, and submit your NASW workshop/session proposal by March 1.

Each year, the NASW Programs Committee works hard to develop a slate of professional development sessions that reflects the broad and varied interests of our membership. The committee is, however, limited to the proposals that are submitted by NASW members. The chosen sessions, which are part of the annual ScienceWriters meeting, directly reflect the depth, breadth, and quality of proposals received.

We rely on your efforts to ensure a diversity of topics so that all members -- educators, journalists, public information officers, staffers, freelancers, students, writers, editors, broadcasters, podcasters, early career, late career, new members, and veterans -- can find something to fit their needs. Workshops can be targeted at a specific experience level (e.g., a master class or a workshop for beginners); a specific job role (e.g., investigative journalists, multimedia producers, institutional writers, or freelance editors); a specific type of writing or practice area (e.g., narratives, infographics, news writing, or profiles); or they can be creatively designed in such a way as to be more broadly applicable to the larger mission and shared interests of all NASW members.

We encourage applicants to consider different workshop formats, including both the tried-and-true panel discussion and more nontraditional formats. (For an idea of previous workshop offerings, visit the archived programs for ScienceWriters2019 and ScienceWriters2018.

In addition to encouraging diversity in topics, the Programs Committee seeks a wide range of voices on the program at ScienceWriters2020. While we realize that applicants may not be able to confirm panelists before a proposal has been accepted, proposals should demonstrate that thought has been given toward identifying potential speakers, with the following guidelines in mind to support a diverse and inclusive conference:

  • As a general rule, speakers should appear in only one session.
  • We strongly encourage proposals that include speakers who have not participated in recent sessions.
  • We aim to create a program whose participants are diverse in multiple facets. Sessions need not be panels. Any proposed panels should include speakers from underrepresented groups and showcase diversity in job roles (both within and outside the field of science writing) and geographic location (both within and outside the U.S.). Any proposed session with a panel that lacks in diversity will not be scored highly.

  • Limited funding is available for speaker travel to attract those who would not normally attend or in cases where there is financial need.

Organizing a workshop can be a fun and valuable experience that connects you with science writers and experts in other fields. You don't need to be an expert yourself. Consider volunteering your time today to make an idea reality. Read more and submit your NASW session proposal online by March 1. Curious about what makes a great proposal? Check out this new resource from the Programs Committee.

Organizers and speakers receive complimentary registration to the meeting. Successful proposals will be notified by mid-April. Details of the session and confirmed speaker list will be due by June 1.

Are you interested in reviewing proposals during March and April and shaping the annual conference? The Programs Committee is looking for three or four new volunteers to join the committee. Committee members also help support session organizers in preparing sessions by checking in periodically and acting as sounding boards. To apply, send an email to by Feb. 10 with a short paragraph describing your background and why you are interested.

Submit a proposal for a "Science + Science Writing" session to CASW by March 1

Science writers are invited to propose a special session to discuss challenges or issues in covering science. Drawing on current topics in the news, "S+SW" sessions are intended as case studies of issues at the intersection of science, science communication, and journalism. They also are intended to provide opportunities for open conversation between scientists and writers on topics that are controversial, ethically fraught, or otherwise difficult. Up to three selected sessions will be interwoven with the New Horizons in Science presentations.

These 75-minute sessions can take a variety of forms. Proposals that focus on hot topics in science, include diverse (even opposed) perspectives, and allow ample time for audience engagement are encouraged.

Each submission should explain why the topic proposed will serve as a case study of broad interest and importance for science writers covering other fields.

Proposals are due March 1.

Read more details and submit your S+SW proposal online here.

A joint NASW-CASW panel will review these proposals and notify you of a decision by May 15.

You are welcome to submit multiple proposals, but please note that you should not be submitting the same proposal as both a workshop and an S+SW session.

Questions? Email

Feb. 4, 2020

Drexel University Online