WCSJ2017 registration opens May 1

WCSJ2017 logo

Our annual ScienceWriters conference is going global this year as American science writers host the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in exciting San Francisco, the first such conference to be held in the United States.

Mark your calendars for Oct. 26-30, 2017, to attend WCSJ2017. Registration opens on May 1, 2017. Register early to get a big discount and secure your preferred accommodation and field trips.

National Association of Science Writers (NASW) members are accustomed to being treated to valuable and stimulating annual conferences, and this year’s meeting will be wrapped into an expanded multi-day international conference featuring a program combining professional development, leading-edge science, global issues, and unprecedented opportunities to network with colleagues from around the world. Please note that the registration timeline is different this year, with registration for conference and hotel accommodations opening on May 1.

Register early for a big discount and to get the tours and hotel you want. The organizers have worked hard to keep registration costs low, negotiate below-market hotel rates, and line up exciting and inexpensive field trips.

For WCSJ2017, the organizers have created an extraordinary program, featuring 49 breakout sessions selected and developed by a diverse international program committee from nearly 400 proposals submitted by your fellow science writers. The conference includes a track on global health journalism produced by the Association of Health Care Journalists and a rich selection of New Horizons in Science sessions organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. In keeping with the tradition of ScienceWriters conferences, this is truly a program by science writers for science writers. It is designed to instruct, inform, involve, and inspire attendees looking for reporting and storytelling tips and eager to stay abreast of the professional challenges and scientific developments currently driving our profession.

The program, to be published at wcsj2017.org on May 1, includes these themes:

-Issues in science & science journalism -Science storytelling -Climate, environment, and sustainability -Innovation -Latin America and the Caribbean

Breakouts and plenaries will take place at the conference hotel, the Marriott Marquis, and on the campuses of WCSJ2017’s two host universities, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley.

Plenary speakers include:

-Thierry Zomahoun, president and chief executive officer of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences -UC Berkeley biologist Jennifer Doudna -Jeffrey Bluestone of UCSF, president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy -Alberto Cairo, Knight chair in visual journalism at the University of Miami -Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mary Roach, bestselling author of Stiff and Packing for Mars, will appear in a joint plenary session with Ed Yong, writer for the Atlantic and author of I Contain Multitudes. And we’ll have a timely plenary on "Science journalism, authoritarian regimes, and pseudoscience."

You’ll want to stick around for other key features of the program. As part of University Day on Sunday, Oct. 29, we’ll have lab tours and Lunch with a Scientist offered at UCSF, UC Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In addition, 13 field trips on Monday, Oct. 30, will cover everything from wine country science to deep sea robots, redwood forests and earth imaging satellites. Johnson & Johnson is opening its biotech labs; the U.S. Geological Survey will show you the actual crack representing the San Andreas Fault; and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the Point Reyes Field Station, and the National Ignition Facility offer other fascinating tours. Registration for most tours will be at the discounted rate of $20-$25.

Running alongside the main program will be a pre-conference symposium on the implications of gene-editing technology, receptions at the California Academy of Sciences and Exploratorium, and a chance to attend a special event organized by the Bay Area Science Festival. Our meeting coincides with the festival’s opening, offering a wealth of extracurricular activities.

Add to all of this the potentially transformative experience of making connections with science writers from other countries and cultures, and you have the ingredients of an unforgettable conference. And by the way, October is the sunniest and liveliest month to be in San Francisco.

WCSJ2017 is hosted by ScienceWriters’ annual partners, NASW and CASW (Council for the Advancement of Science Writing). Host universities are UCSF and UC Berkeley. Our international partner is the World Federation of Science Journalists, which represents more than 50 science journalism groups from around the world. Locally, the Northern California Science Writers Association is organizing and coordinating the field trips.

To learn more go to wcsj2017.org and sign up for the newsletter. Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Registration fee information:

  • NASW members and members of WFSJ-affiliated associations:
    • Early (until Aug. 1, 2017): $299
    • Regular (Aug. 2- Oct. 12, 2017): $359
    • Students: $149
  • Non-members: $499
  • Non-member students: $199

Registration opens at wcsj2017.org at noon Pacific time on Monday, May 1, and closes at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, Oct. 12.