Ends on March 1, 2019

Propose a "Science and Science Writing" session for the CASW New Horizons in Science portion of ScienceWriters2019.

NASW members are invited to propose a special session that draws on a current science topic as a case study for discussion of challenges or issues in covering science. "S+SW" sessions are intended to elucidate issues facing science writers covering particular areas of science. They also are intended to provide opportunities for open conversation between scientists and writers. Up to three selected sessions will be interwoven with the New Horizons in Science presentations that take place on Sunday and Monday. 


  • Proposed presenters should include both scientists and science writers/communicators.
  • The session format can vary; Q&A, diverging opinions and audience engagement are encouraged to stimulate dialogue. Timeslots will be no longer than one hour.
  • Ideally, your session will take advantage of a hot current topic in science as a case study, creating synergy with the CASW science presentations. The proposal should explain why this case study has broader interest and importance for science writers covering other fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of topics are appropriate? 

Here are some examples:

  • Covering an area where scientists are muzzled/reluctant to speak or where writers and scientists must navigate social, cultural, political and economic minefields.
  • Topics that bring scientists, institutions and journalists into frequent conflict.
  • Examples of how message manipulation by scientist, institutions or other actors affects coverage.
  • A scientific practice that poses particular challenges for science writers (e.g. bias, publishing politics).
  • Examining a recent egg-on-face case, where science writers or the media in general missed a big story, got it wrong or failed to critically examine the evidence.

What kinds of proposals are not appropriate?

  • Discussions of craft suitable for the NASW workshop program.
  • Sessions intended to draw attention to an "undercovered area of science," especially those submitted on behalf of organizations seeking visibility for their area of interest.
  • Proposals that do not draw on current science.

Can you provide some examples of previous "Science and Science Writing" sessions?


  • ScienceWriters2018: Marilynn Marchione moderated a discussion on "The Wild West of stem cell therapy" on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the isolation of human embryonic stem cells. The session brought together a scientist-blogger, an FDA regulator, a public information officer (session co-organizer Terry Devitt), and a reporter to discuss policy controversies and challenges for PIOs and journalists through both a current-events and a historical lens.
  • ScienceWriters2016: Deborah Blum moderated a panel called "The next Flint crisis (and why there will be one." A resident of Flint, Michigan added an important dimension to this powerful session.

The organizer will be expected to manage the session as moderator or interviewer or find a moderator. CASW Executive/Program Director Ros Reid will work with you and any other participants on refining and implementing the session plan and logistics. CASW will provide travel reimbursements for session participants.

Directions for submitting

S+SW proposals should be uploaded to this site by March 1. Please limit the session description to 300 words. Be sure to include the names of proposed presenters, and a note about your choices.

A joint NASW-CASW panel will review these proposals and notify you of a decision by May 15.