Take a hike…and visit the Blue Hills Observatory

NESW members! Grab your hiking shoes, grab your family, and join us for a casual, guided hike through Blue Hills Reservation — topped off with a tour of the Blue Hills Observatory — on Sunday, Sept. 25 (rain date Oct. 2). We will meet at 12:45 in the parking lot to the north of the Trailside Museum in Milton.

RSVP now for more information and to sign up. Email Noelle Swan with any questions.

The 2016 NESW Summer Social

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Summertime! (TimothyLev/Wikipedia)

Come over to Meadhall  on Wednesday, August 10, between 6:30 and 8:30 for the 2016 NESW Summer Social! We’ve reserved a private room at this popular Kendall Square brew pub where we can network, catch up on comings and goings, suggest future NESW events, and commiserate about how fast summer is going!

There will be a cash bar and appetizers. Tickets are $15 per person. Members and non-members welcome.

RSVP today!

Register now: CRISPR Explained

Registration is now open for our June 22 CRISPR panel with researchers from the Broad Institute, followed by an informal gathering at Meadhall.

The panel’s speakers:

  • John Doench, associate director, Broad Institute’s Gene Perturbation Program
  • Ann Ran, postdoctoral fellow, Zhang Lab
  • Omar Abudayyeh and Jonathan Gootenberg, graduate students, Zhang Lab

will discuss CRISPR genome editing, how it works and, how it’s being developed for a wide range of uses.

The discussion will take place in the auditorium at the Broad Institute (415 Main Street, Cambridge) starting at 6:30pm, followed by an informal gathering around the corner at Meadhall.

This event is free for NESW members, $5 for guests.

To register, visit our event page. And if you are an NESW member and have not yet registered with MemberPlanet (our new membership service provider), follow this link, then click the blue “Join our group” button.

 

 

SAVE THE DATE: CRISPR Explained

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(Cas9 wiki project/Wikimedia Commons)

Join your fellow NESW members on Wednesday, June 22, to hear a panel of researchers from the Broad Institute talk about CRISPR genome editing, how it works, and how it’s being developed for a wide range of uses.

The panel will take place in the auditorium at the Broad Institute (415 Main Street, Cambridge) starting at 6:30pm; light refreshments/reception will follow.

Registration information will be available soon, so watch this space.

NESW steering committee changes:

Established in 1977, New England Science Writers is an independent group of about 250 members with a mutual professional passion for communicating about science in print and online, and by audio, video, and more. Our group is led by member-volunteers and a regional affiliate of the National Association of Science Writers. This month, the informal steering committee is changing, and with the change comes new opportunities for you to shape the group’s activities and to get involved. If you want to help out with events or volunteer in any way, please contact: Deborah Halber, dhalber (at) writingreality dot com. We’re excited about the coming year.

NESW steering committee changes:

* Deborah Halber has accepted a bid to become NESW president, replacing Carol Cruzan Morton, who will serve at-large on the steering committee;
* Many thanks and best wishes to long-time treasurer Peter Spotts, who is moving on to Albuquerque.Jeff Hecht has assumed command of the spreadsheets and will be the chief NESW number cruncher.
* Noelle Swan is stepping into the role of membership chair, replacing Halber in warmly welcoming new and renewing members.
* Tom Ulrich keeps the NESW twitter account humming along (https://twitter.com/NEsciWriters), is working on re-energizing the web site (neswonline.com), and will take the lead in planning a new favorite event, the fall reception for science writing students.
* Long-time social director Richard Saltus will carry on organize the popular summer and winter socials.
* Past president Neil Savage is not resting on his laurels, and will continue to be the point person for the NESW Facebook group (join and post here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewEnglandScienceWriters/) and send out job openings and other announcements.
* Haley Bridger will continue at large.
* Tim De Chant serves as the NESW steering committee liaison to Science Writers in and Around Cambridge, Mass. (SWINACAMA), an informal monthly meet-up group.

Into the Woods at Harvard Forest

witnesstreeNESW members are invited to spend Sunday, May 3, for a day at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. It’s one in a network of 27 NSF-funded Long-Term Ecological Research stations that stretch from Antarctica to Alaska. Set up in 1907 by scientists at Harvard University, the site became part of the NSF’s network in 1988. We’ll spend the day with researchers who are studying land-use changes as well as the forest’s response to stresses that range from intense storms and climate change to air pollution. And, hey, it’s a chance to get outside after one bodaciously awful winter!

Plan on arriving between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00. We’ll be making the rounds until about 4:00 p.m., with time out for a bring-your-own-lunch lunch. Sturdy shoes and layers are the order of the day, in case we haven’t shaken the last vestiges of this past winter.

There is no charge for this event. But seating, or perhaps we should say sauntering, is limited to 20-25 participants. That’s about the most that can surround a scientist and still hear him or her beneath the trees. So get your bid in early.

To reach the research station from Boston, take Route 2 west to Exit 17 (Route 32) and head south 3 miles to Petersham. If you are coming from Boston, or even if you aren’t, here‘s what Google Maps shows.

Interested in carpooling? If you can give a ride, or if you want a ride, add your name in the comments section below and get in touch with each other!

Sign up here: https://nesw.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_194566

Telling Science Stories with Code and Data: April 18-19

Update: Check out the examples of what you can do at http://code-workshop.neswonline.com/examples.html

Twitter: #hacksciwri

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Time: 9 am-6 pm
(Optional half day to polish projects Sunday, April 19, 9 am-1 pm)
Place: MIT Media Lab
Two-step registration begins here: https://nesw.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_193290
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 10 APRIL
* Note that workshop space is limited. Tutorials and examples from the workshop will be openly available online after the workshop

The workshop, funded by an Idea Grant from the National Association of Science Writers, will open with some short presentations before participants divide into groups for tutorials and hands-on project work, returning for presentation of projects and general discussion.

The MIT Media Lab is generously making their space available to groups that want to continue working into early evening and the following day.

If you’re interested in attending, please begin thinking of science stories you’d do if you had some programming skill and access to data to work with.

When we open registration later this month, we’ll ask each individual to submit a story idea. Our goal will be for you to work on a group project that uses the skills and resources that you’d need for that story—so you leave with a start on something you’d actually like to do.

From responses to our survey in November, we’ve determined that some of you are primarily interested in learning to acquire, analyze and interpret data, while others would like to learn how to visualize and present scientific information in interactive, reader-friendly ways for storytelling. Workshop activities will address both these objectives. Thanks for your input!

We’re looking for examples of data coding and visualization in science writing. Please help us by submitting links to stories and visualizations in the comments section, below.

See you there!

Ros Reid & Carol Cruzan Morton, workshop coordinators
Brian Hayes & Rahul Dave, presenters, developers and chief facilitators
Matt Carroll and the MIT Media Lab, hosts