The annual ScienceWriters meeting is a joint meeting of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. A mix of professional development workshops, briefings on the latest scientific research, extensive networking opportunities, and field trips, it is a meeting for science writers, by science writers, with content to appeal to both the newest writers and seasoned professionals. The location varies each year based on the host institution, providing access to science writers in all parts of the United States. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be held entirely online. The conference logo, which is typically designed by the host and represents the geographic locale, was created this year by NASW member Nathan Pieplow, whose design was chosen from among those submitted by members. Pieplow "wanted to show the leaf materializing from abstract pixels, as something of a metaphor for a conference reconstituted in digital form."
Following a series of thoughtful, forward-thinking conversations among the meeting hosts and partners, we have together decided in April that it was unwise to continue with a plan for a large, in-person October gathering, given the unknown and potentially high level of risk for individuals.
We will postpone our gathering in Colorado, originally scheduled for October 2020, until the fall of 2021. The University of Colorado Boulder and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus are excited to welcome us to the Rocky Mountains next year, and we are delighted that we will still have an opportunity to gather in Colorado as a community. We will meet for ScienceWriters2022 in Chicago as planned, and move our Memphis conference to 2023. We are incredibly grateful to our hosts in Colorado and Tennessee for their flexibility and deep empathy.
We are saddened at having to forgo a beloved annual tradition, if just for a year. More than ever, it seems essential to see and support our colleagues. Yet with this grief comes opportunity. In addition to creating opportunities for professional connection and learning, these online events will provide an opportunity for those who have not experienced a ScienceWriters conference to participate with no travel required.
Learn more about our platforms at sciencewriters2020.org/platform
The ScienceWriters meeting is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. NASW and CASW value these principles for how they enrich the science writing profession. Specifically, we work to ensure that the annual ScienceWriters conference is welcoming and supportive by respecting the full spectrum of individual identities of those who participate. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or incivility. We encourage attendees to report any concerns via the guidelines in the conference code of conduct.
Session organizers and speakers should reflect the full range of possible voices and expertise. Organizers should strive to build panels and programs that are diverse with regards to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, age, religious belief, and/or socioeconomic status. Organizers must actively seek to recruit speakers from underrepresented groups. In addition, panels and discussions on issues that affect and/or are informed by the perspectives of underrepresented groups are encouraged.
We commit to having a conference venue that is as accessible to, and inclusive of, as many potential attendees as possible. This includes everything from choosing a venue to fine-tuning onsite details. Examples include ensuring that all speakers and questioners use microphones, offering the option to print pronouns on badges, beginning the meeting with a land acknowledgment, and offering childcare and/or nursing rooms. Details are laid out and updated as needed in the tips for session organizers, which should be read and adhered to by all volunteers and staff. Equal care will be given to accessibility of any virtual events.
We will deal promptly with reports of harassment, discrimination, or incivility in relation to the annual conference. We will be transparent about how we have dealt with such reports.
We will gather metrics on these diversity, equity and inclusion goals and publicly report them after the meeting.
For information on this year's accessibility plans, please visit sciencewriters2020.org/accessibility