Science Writers Roundtable: Diverse Options for Career Pivots

Zoom Webinar

Science Writers Roundtable:
Diverse Options for Career Pivots
Presented by the NASW Board of Directors

Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Start Time: 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT
Event Recording: (member login required)

Science writing contains multitudes — and journalists standing at career crossroads have a wealth of opportunities to explore. Join us for a panel showcasing some of the options available within science writing for professionals looking to export their reporting and storytelling skillsets. Among other things, panelists will offer an overview of several kinds of science writing positions, what those positions entail, and offer advice on looking for gigs in those spaces.

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


Sandeep Ravindran
Freelance Science Writer and NASW Vice President

A freelance science journalist with bylines in New York Times, TIME, Smithsonian, National Geographic News, Nature, WIRED, and other outlets, Ravindran is now serving his third term on the NASW board, having served as NASW treasurer for the past two years and NASW secretary before that. Additionally, Sandeep has helped organize the Power Pitch and Pitch Fest events at several NASW annual meetings — and as Vice President, he assumes the role of Programs Committee chair to curate ScienceWriters2023 and ScienceWriters2024 annual meetings.

Confirmed Speakers:

Emily Sohn
Freelance Journalist

Emily Sohn is a freelance journalist in Minneapolis whose stories have appeared in National Geographic, New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, bioGraphic, and many other publications. She also currently serves as co-chair of the NASW Journalism Committee.

Philip Yam
Freelance Media Consultant, Reporter and Editor

Philip Yam is a media consultant and a freelance science writer, editor, and producer. Previously, he was employed at the Simons Foundation as an editor-in-chief but spent most of his career at Scientific American, where over the years he worked as an articles editor, news editor and online managing editor. He is the author of the 2003 book on prions called The Pathological Protein. As a member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has served as a board member and on the NASW Diversity Committee; as a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, he has served as the New York chapter president.

Helen Fields
Writing Team Leader, Palladian Partners, Inc.

Helen Fields is a science writer in Washington DC. She works for a communications company that supports government health agencies. As a freelance journalist, her work has appeared in Smithsonian, Discover, Science, and other publications. Early in her career, she had staff positions at National Geographic and U.S.News & World Report.

Chanapa Tantibanchachai
Press Officer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Chanapa is a press officer in the FDA's Office of Media Affairs, where she writes press releases and speaks on behalf of the agency for a variety of topics such as treatments for infectious diseases, drug safety concerns, and the drug approval process. She also provides strategy and counsel to senior agency officials on communications tactics and overall approach for newsworthy issues. In the past, Chanapa worked as a public information officer for Johns Hopkins and the University of Utah, covering health and science beats ranging from embryology to electrical engineering.


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 about the series at

Founded in 1934 with a mission to fight for the free flow of science news, NASW is an organization of ~ 2,500 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