Capital Science Communicators Unite D.C. “Congress” and Celebrate Board Member Award This #SciWri18


Members of our CapSciComm community will be making their presence felt at the ScienceWriters2018 (, the annual workshop of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), held this October 12-16 in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University.

Over this past year, I have been working with our colleagues in California and in other states on a pair of sessions being featured at #SciWri18. The first will be held on Friday, October 12 — and itself a first among the national science writers landscape.

“SciWriUnited: A Regional SciWri Groups Congress” (1:00 – 5:00 p.m., Continental Ballroom, will convene delegates from all around the United States, each representing their local network. The session is a collaboration with our friend Marla Vacek Broadfoot PhD, President of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC), and we are expecting delegates from SF Bay Area, San Diego, greater Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Portland, Madison, Austin, Boston, and D.C. at this first-ever #SciWriUnited congress.

Through delegate floor speeches, we’ll hear about the unique qualities, successes, and challenges facing our counterpart networks in other regions — and through breakout discussions, we’ll brainstorm a list of common issues regarding the operation, funding, membership, and programming across our regional groups. Our hope is to leverage this inaugural gathering into a virtual “brain bank” that all groups can learn from — and to sustain this community-building effort for the very long term.

Representing CapSciComm at #SciWriUnited will be Board Members Emily Underwood and Becky Oskin — who are partaking in additional festivities this weekend in D.C.

CapSciComm Professional Membership Chair Becky Oskin will also be helping me host “Communicating Ciencia II: Engaging the Changing Faces and Voices of Mass Media” (10:15 – 11:45 a.m., Continental Ballroom, on Saturday, October 13.

After the success of the first “Communicating Ciencia” session at ScienceWriters2016 in San Antonio, we revived and updated the session for 2018. Our panel this time will feature Claudia Pineda Tibbs (Monterey Bay Aquarium); José G. González (Founder, Latino Outdoors), and Jenny F. de la Hoz PhD (Center for Equity and Inclusion, Portland, Oregon). Session materials will be posted at, and you can follow the conversation on Twitter via #CómoSciWri.

Emily UnderwoodCapSciComm Journalism Chair Emily Underwood is the one getting the party started, however. As I write, she is preparing to accept a 2018 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) Communication Award in the Newspaper/Magazine category for her part in a Science magazine story package on human migration past and present. You can read about her award here (, and watch the award ceremony online on Thursday, October 11, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific ( Please join us in congratulating Emily on her science journalism craft!

It’s going to be a full weekend at ScienceWriters2018! We invite any CapSciComm and Northern California colleagues to meet up with us throughout the weekend in Washington. Tweet to us at @CapSciComm, and help us #KeepScienceSpicy at #SciWri18!

— Ben Young Landis, CapSciComm Executive Co-Chair


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