NASW welcomes applicants for Affiliate Membership

Following a 2021 vote of the membership, the National Association of Science Writers has created a new membership category: Affiliate Membership. Those interested in joining the organization in this new category can now apply at

Affiliate Membership is open to anyone interested in science writing who does not fit the requirements for either Professional or Student membership. Establishing this category ensures there is a place at NASW for individuals who have a strong personal interest in science writing as a profession and who pledge to uphold the aims and mission of our organization.

Affiliate Members could include writers transitioning into science writing or returning to science writing after some time away ― including parents returning after years of child care ― and allow them to access resources that can help them become Professional members. Also, because the definition of “professional science writer” will likely shift as new technologies and methods of communication develop, having a broad category like this will help NASW keep up with those changes. Adding an Affiliate Membership category brings NASW in line with peer organizations that provide for membership outside the more stringent criteria for primary membership.

The addition of the Affiliate Member option was one of several changes to membership infrastructure overwhelmingly approved (94%) by voters in 2021. The “Regular” membership category was renamed “Professional” membership, and applicants no longer need sponsors. Student membership was expanded to include any student, with no restrictions on field of study.

Hero image by Nico Smit on Unsplash.

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