ScienceWriters2021 conference transitioning to all-virtual event

Given the continuing risks and uncertainties posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) are announcing the transition of ScienceWriters2021 (#SciWri21) to a virtual-only event. The decision was reached in coordination with our hosting partners at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical and Boulder campuses.

The leadership of of NASW and CASW reached this decision out of an abundance of caution and after extensive research and consultation, aware that the complex risks of travel and in-person gatherings this fall cannot be fully predicted or mitigated.

“For the past year, CASW and NASW have been working with our hosts at the University of Colorado to put in place all the measures necessary to have a safe, fun, productive in-person conference even under challenging conditions,” said Rosalind Reid, CASW executive director. “But this pandemic is bigger than we are, and there are grave uncertainties about the risks of traveling and meeting this fall. We are saddened that our well-laid plans have been upended by the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus and the resurgence of infection around the country.”

#SciWri21 was originally intended to provide two distinct participatory experiences, with some sessions designed as online only and other sessions as onsite only. NASW and CASW organizers will now work closely with session leaders to transition programming to online formats. The updated conference program and session schedule will be announced by early September. Conference registrants who have already selected and paid for in-person participation will be automatically refunded the difference between that rate and the virtual-only rate, beginning the week of August 30th. All current and future registrants will have until September 28th to cancel their registration.

“Although this decision may feel disappointing, we fortunately have ample practice producing a vibrantly interactive yet fully virtual conference, given our experience organizing an online-only meeting in 2020 that drew 1,200 attendees from 22 countries,” said Tinsley Davis, NASW executive director. “We are grateful to all our SciWri21 session leaders for putting in even more energy and volunteer time as we adjust and chart an updated conference program together.”

NASW and CASW are pleased that the University of Colorado has committed to serve as the host for ScienceWriters2023, so our community can look forward to gathering at the foot of the Rocky Mountains under better conditions. ScienceWriters2022 will be held in Memphis, Tennessee.

Visit www.sciencewriters2021.org for developing updates on the all-virtual conference experience, session offerings, and event registration. Financial support for covering registration, caregiving and other costs while participating in our conference remains available, and applications already placed for travel assistance to the in-person portion of the meeting will be automatically considered for virtual attendance assistance. Visit www.nasw.org/sciwri21grants for details on all NASW and CASW attendee aid opportunities and deadlines.

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