ScienceWriters excerpts

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Published twice annually, ScienceWriters magazine is devoted to analytical reporting and commentary on issues in science journalism and communications, and to the special interests of members of the National Association of Science Writers. Sample issue

In March, the Rockefeller University launched Seek, a new research magazine with freelance opportunities for science writers (additional info further down). Although the role of a university's research magazine is to promote its research program, Seek aims also to contribute to larger conversations — about the power of biomedicine, the ethical implications of discovery, and the role of science in society, for instance — in a meaningful way.

The five-day program for the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists features global issues, research topics and challenges, a chance to learn how science writing is done around the world, and a star-studded cast of headline speakers together with all the classic elements of a ScienceWriters meeting: professional development workshops, networking events, field trips, a pitch slam, and Lunch with a Scientist. The early registration discount ends on August 1.

Veteran science journalist Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter for Nature and a longtime lecturer in the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, became the program’s third director in January. Check Hayden was selected by a committee of UCSC faculty and alumni after a national search. She succeeds current director Robert Irion, who is retiring from the university after leading the program for 10 years.

Congratulations, you’ve been awarded a fellowship to the tune of $10,000. Don’t lose part of the largess by needlessly overpaying your self-employment tax. While you’re liable for income taxes on the $10,000, you’re not liable for self-employment taxes on the amount. How come? Because, like other writers, you aren’t in the business of receiving fellowships.

Scientists and professionals at research institutions eager to inform the public about their work need to go where the readers or, increasingly, the viewers are. Instead of driving traffic to their websites, a panel of public information officers, editors, and journalists recommend creating science content specifically for use on Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media outlets.