A Congress of Regional Science Writing Groups

While national organizations and annual conferences exist for science writers, science journalists, and science communicators, it is through local networks where relationships and communities have more time and opportunity to be cultivated. As a result, regional science writing groups have sprouted around the United States over the decades.

The regional groups landscape is diverse. Some communities serve dynamic metropolitan areas with major media outlets and research institutions (e.g. New York City) — while others serve a smaller market (e.g. Sacramento) or a more diffuse geographic range (Ohio River Valley). Yet, leaders of regional groups face many of the same challenges and opportunities in their efforts to develop professional networking and programming for local science writers

To address this need, the First Congress of Regional Science Writers Groups (SciWriCongress) was convened in Washington D.C. on October 12, 2018, during ScienceWriters2018 — the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW). The first-ever such gathering, delegates from existing and prospective regional groups shared their organizational best practices and discussed paths forward to sustain dialog across the landscape.

As our SciWriCongress matures, it will ultimately produce ideas, insights, and practical solutions for organizing and managing regional groups — as well as launching new ones. We recognize that regional groups are unique entities that transcend professional sectors, interfacing directly with yet operating independently of any national guild. But the impact of sustaining these regional groups is no less important — when we provide local support for the careers of science writers, we nourish the free flow and understanding of scientific knowledge in those local regions.


Marla Vacek Broadfoot and Ben Young Landis

SciWriCongress Founders

Member Groups and Representatives

The following regional groups participate in and are represented in the SciWriCongress:

  1. Appalachian Science Communicators (AppSciComm) Representative Arvind Suresh
  2. Austin Science Writers Representative Julie Grisham
  3. Badger Science Writers — Representative Eric Hamilton
  4. Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm) Representative Emily Underwood
  5. Chicago Science Writers — Representative Carolyn Wilke
  6. D.C. Science Writers Association (DCSWA) Representative Rachel Lallensack
  7. New England Science Writers Representative Deborah Halber
  8. Northern California Science Writers Association (NCSWA) Open Seat
  9. Northwest Science Writers Association Representative Ellen Kuwana
  10. Philadelphia-Area Science Writers Association — Representative Karen Kreeger
  11. San Diego Science Writers Association Representative Ramin Skibba
  12. Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC) Representative Jenny Cox
  13. Science Talk Representative Kiki Sanford
  14. Science Writers in New York (SWINY) Representative Alan Brown
  15. SoCal Science Writing Representative: Amber Dance
  16. Southwest Science Writers Association — Representative: Martha Heil

The SciWriCongress is currently organized by volunteer leaders:

  • SpeakerMartha Heil (Southwest Science Writers Association), 2020-Present
  • Speaker pro Tem Ellen Kuwana (Northwest Science Writers Association), 2020-Present

Past SciWriCongress Leadership:

  • Marla Vacek Broadfoot (SCONC), Speaker 2018-2019
  • Ben Young Landis (CapSciComm), Speaker pro Tem 2018-2019