RSVP now for the annual NESW Holiday Dinner!

It’s time for everyone’s favorite holiday tradition: the New England Science Writers’ annual holiday dinner. We’ve reserved the back room at The Burren in Davis Square, Somerville, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM on Tuesday, December 12. Join us for a three-course meal of hearty comfort food, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. You do not need to choose your dinner ahead of time. Cost is $30 per person.

Reserve your seat today!


Pizza with a Scientist: Scott Hughes and Gravitational Waves – 10/24 @ 6PM

Last week scientists announced the fourth detection of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time that shook the international physics community when they were first detected in 2015. The feat not only validated Einstein’s theory of general relativity but also opened a new field of astronomy that will essentially allow us to listen to some of the most energetic and exciting processes in the universe.

Join your NESW colleagues for pizza with MIT physics professor Scott Hughes, who will describe the discoveries, why they are so important, and the current status of the research. Hughes studies astrophysical general relativity, focusing on black holes and gravitational-wave sources.

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Building 37, Room 252 (Marlar Lounge)
70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

This event is limited to 15 people; RSVP to reserve your seat!

Contact Elizabeth Thompson with any questions.

A ferry tour of the Block Island Wind Farm


Block Island Wind Farm. (Ionna22/Wikimedia Commons)

Join NESW on a ferry tour of Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in the United States, on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. We anticipate high interest in this event, so be sure to reserve your spot today.

NESW is working with Special Initiative on Offshore Wind at the University of Delaware (UD) to develop a one-day program that includes a ferry trip out to the Block Island Wind Farm, as well as talks with offshore wind researchers from UD, the National Wildlife Federation, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.


  • Willett Kempton – Research director for UD’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration with expertise in viability, efficiency, and public opinion of offshore wind farms
  • Cristina Archer – Associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at UD with expertise in meteorology and physical ocean sciences
    David Biggers – Marine avian specialist with the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Catherine Bowes – Senior manager for climate and energy at the National Wildlife Federation

The ferry will depart from North Kingstown, R.I., at 10:00 a.m. and return to shore at 1 p.m. Presentations will take place onboard the boat on the way to and from the wind farm. The cruise departs from the Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry terminal located at 1347 Quonset Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Visit Atlantic Wind Transfers for detailed directions.

* Please note that the bus from Cambridge to Rhode Island is now full. Contact Noelle Swan if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

For more information, logistics, and to register to join this tour, click here.


Mark your calendar: The NESW Summer Social


The New England Science Writers will return to Daedalus Restaurant and Pub in Cambridge for the annual summer social event on August 9 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Come by to meet up, catch up, and network with your colleagues. We’ve reserved the upstairs bar, and for $15 a head ($20 for non-members) we’ll supply an array of appetizers.

Daedalus is at 45 ½ Mt. Auburn Street near Harvard Square.

RSVP now!

Join us for an up-close look at coastal erosion and sea level rise on Plum Island


Plum Island Estuary (USGS/Flickr)

Sea level rise and erosion aren’t theoretical problems for Plum Island. Joins us on Saturday, July 23 from 11:oo am to 1:00 pm for a guided hike led by science writer and marine biologist Bill Sargent, and see for yourself some of the changes the barrier island is currently experiencing.

For those interested in spending the full day on the island, there are restaurants for lunch, miles of beaches, kayaking rentals, birding opportunities, and designated fishing areas.

Friends and family (including kids) are welcome.

Make sure to RSVP if you think you might attend, so we can send you information about where to meet and what to bring – and so we know to wait for you before setting out.

Happy solstice: Upcoming NESW summer & fall happenings

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events from NESW, and stay tuned for more information on each!

Sunday, July 23 – Plum Island hike
Science writer and marine biologist Bill Sargent will lead a community walk along the barrier beach, to demonstrate the effects of coastal erosion and sea level rise on Plum Island.

Wednesday, August 9 – NESW 2017 Summer Social
Our ever-popular summer social will once again be held at Daedalus Restaurant & Pub in Harvard Square. Join us for this fun and casual opportunity to mingle and network with other area science writers.

Monday, September 25 – Block Island Wind Farm Ferry Tour
Join researchers from the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind at the University of Delaware on a special full-day bus-to-ferry tour of the United States’ first offshore wind farm. We need a big group to fill the ferry and are pleased to welcome the Knight Science Journalism fellows, as well as the graduate science writing students from both MIT and Boston University with us. (If you know of other area individuals or groups that might be interested in joining us, email Noelle Swan at noelleswan[at]

TBA – Inaugural dinner with a scientist
Spend an evening with MIT physicist and gravitational waves expert Scott Hughes. Enrollment will be limited, so keep an eye out for the invitation to reserve your spot.

Take a spring hike with NESW

NESW is heading to the Blue Hills for another guided hike. Join your fellow science writers on Sunday, May 21 at 10 am for a light hike, guided by Don McCasland, program director of the Blue Hills Observatory and Science Center.

Don led a small group of NESW members on a similar hike this past fall and it was a big hit among attendees, so much so, we thought we’d do it again. (If there’s interest, we might even make it a seasonal event!)

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, child, outdoor and nature
Don is knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and geology of the region. Everyone who attended last time said they learned something new – even those who were well acquainted with the Blue Hills.

Don will also be offering another guided tour of the observatory for those who missed the last one. The science center has an extensive collection of historical meteorological equipment, much of which is still in use today.

Join us for the hike, the observatory tour – or both. Partners, spouses, friends, and kids welcome. Attendance is free for members and $5 for non-members.

RSVP for details about where to meet and what to bring.

Send any questions to

Check out photos from our last trip on the New England Science Writers Facebook page. (Look in photos/albums.)