A Message from the CapSciComm Board: Virtual Events and COVID-19 SciComm Resources

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Dear CapSciComm Members —

As the #coronavirus #COVID19 disease pandemic progresses and affects our regional community, I want to share a helpful resource for journalists, PIOs, and other writers and communicators in our network. 

“Resources for Covering COVID-19”
Compiled by the National Association of Science Writers

Coronaviruses: Background and Sources for Your Reporting”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists

Tips on Finding and Vetting Experts During a Disease Outbreak”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists

Resources for Reporting the Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults”
Compiled by the Association of Health Care Journalists

(Note: CapSciComm has no official affiliation with NASW or AHCJ, though NASW does support efforts like the #SciWriCongress)

For writers and communicators, this is a helpful time to look towards national professional associations like NASW (https://twitter.com/ScienceWriters) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (https://healthjournalism.org) for guidance, especially if you and your newsroom do not have beat writers on staff, or if you are new to science/health assignments. Or if you’re simply a community member interested in building up your media literacy on how to sift through the deluge of news and rumors during this critical time. (A big shoutout also to our communicator colleagues working just as hard at state agencies, universities, and research institutions these weeks — we are lucky to be in California.)

CapSciComm Transition and Events

I also want to say a word on upcoming events and our CapSciComm organization transition. As you know, our 2020 plan was to revamp our membership structure, unveil a new charter, and host our first-ever elections for a new Executive Board — taking our network to new heights in this new decade. 

So first off, a big thank you to the many of you who’ve already joined us as dues-paying Professional or Student Members! Please share our membership link (https://capscicomm.org/join) with more colleagues and friends. Those of you who wish to remain on this mailing list but simply as Community Members (no dues), please register nevertheless so we can properly migrate your member information to new platforms.

Secondly, the vibrancy and energy of our professional community has always been best defined by our CapSciComm Networking Socials and those many wonderful face-to-face conversations and chance meetings in-person. In this current reality, we must adapt accordingly. 

The membership drive and our plans for elections will still go on — as should professional networking, now more than ever in light of the need to nurture quality scicomm. I hope to announce plans for virtual events in the coming months, perhaps in the form of Twitter meetups or Slack channels. I welcome your suggestions for formats and tools to stay connected — we’ll find a way to keep building community, even with physical distancing. [Update 3/16: The Slack workspace is live and invites have been sent to Professional and Student Members!]

Recall our mission and vision: To connect science communicators in the Capital Region with resources and networks for professional development — sustaining science literacy among citizens and decision makers in the Capital Region through the support of science communication professionals.

This network was created for you. Let’s keep engaging with one another in our CapSciComm community, and do consider your candidacy when elections and committee announcements come around. Together, we can help one another through this and future challenges — and continue serving our region, society, and neighbors with our talents and expertise.

Ben Young Landis
CapSciComm Founder and Executive Co-Chair
for the CapSciComm Board

[NOTE: This post was updated with AHCJ resources at 2:10 p.m. Pacific Time, March 13th, 2020]

[NOTE: We have now begun curating our own COVID-19 scicomm resource page here. April 11th, 2020]



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