Science Writers Roundtable: Writer-Owned Publications


Science Writers Roundtable:
Writer-Owned Publications
Presented by the NASW Board of Directors

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Start Time: 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT
Even Registration Link:

Science journalists, whether staff writers, editors, or freelancers, seem to have fewer options these days, especially after magazines like Popular Science, National Geographic, WIRED, and FiveThirtyEight had massive layoffs. But maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, with a bunch of worker-owned, often subscription-based outlets popping up, including Defector, 404 Media, The Sick Times, and Sequencer. These outlets often rely on subscriptions, grants, and other sources of funding, different from the traditional advertising-based business models of journalism. We’ll talk to members of these groups and observers of the new media landscape, who can offer insight into them and what opportunities might come next.

Registration is free and open to all interested professionals and students.
Recording will be made available to NASW members.


Ramin Skibba
Freelance Writer/Editor and NASW Board Member

Ramin Skibba is a freelance writer and editor, and a former staff writer at WIRED, based in the Bay Area. In his previous life, he was an astrophysicist. He writes about science, climate and tech for Undark magazine, Scientific American, The Atlantic, and other outlets.

Confirmed Speakers:

Betsy Ladyzhets
The Sick Times

Betsy Ladyzhets is a science and health journalist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. She's the co-editor of The Sick Times, a new nonprofit publication chronicling the Long Covid crisis, which she co-founded after more than three years of writing a newsletter and blog about COVID-19 data. She was recently a journalism fellow at MuckRock, where she contributed to award-winning and impactful COVID-19 investigations, and her prior work has appeared in Science News, STAT News, FiveThirtyEight, The Atlantic, and other national publications.

Max Levy

Max Levy is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a cofounder of Sequencer Magazine, a new writer-owned science newsletter and media site. He earned a Ph.D. in chemical and biological engineering, writes for WIRED, Quanta Magazine, the TED-Ed video channel, and elsewhere.

Michael Greshko

Michael Greshko is a freelance science journalist for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, Science, Atlas Obscura, and Quanta Magazine. After being laid off in 2023 from National Geographic, where he had been a staff writer for seven years, Michael wrote for Nieman Lab about the need for worker-owned science media outlets. Michael is the 2022 winner of the Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award and the co-recipient of a 2023 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award. He has a bachelor's degree in biology from Vanderbilt and a master's degree in science writing from MIT.


Curated by the Board of the National Association of Science Writers, the Science Writers Roundtable series is the organization’s main virtual events series dissecting and responding to the evergreen and emerging forces that shape the business of science news. Open to all interested professionals and students, each event is moderated by an NASW Board Member in conversation among colleagues with experience and expertise relevant to journalists, writers, PIOs, and other communicators. No matter your role and identity within the science writing enterprise, we hope you will take away invaluable insights and information from our #SciWriRoundtable to become a more prepared, better equipped professional, educator, trainee, leader, or ally. Learn more at

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~2,400 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, students and people who write and produce material intended to inform the public about science, health, engineering, and technology. To learn more, visit and follow NASW on LinkedIn and Bluesky. And join us in celebrating #NASW90th.