The most wonderful time of the year: Time for the NESW Holiday Dinner



New England Science Writers is holding this year’s traditional holiday dinner in a new venue – The Burren Irish Pub and Restaurant!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
247 Elm Street in Davis Square, Somerville

We will have a social hour and three-course dinner in The Burren’s Back Room (just a couple of blocks from now-closed Johnny D’s, the venue of NESW holiday dinners past).

The Burren is offering a delicious and varied menu that includes vegetarian and gluten-free options to choose from – no need to specify ahead of time but an RSVP is required. The cost per person, including tax and gratuity, is $30 for NESW members and $35 for non members.

Check out the menu and RSVP today!


Come welcome this year’s KSJ, MIT & BU fellows and students


Join your fellow New England Science Writers (NESW) members and other local science writers in welcoming local science writing students and fellows in a joint reception with the BU and MIT science writing and Knight Science Journalism (KSJ) programs. Deborah Blum will offer up a brief reflection on her first year as director of the KSJ.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 at 6:30pm
Broad Institute, 415 Main Street, Cambridge

$10 for NESW members, $12 for nonmembers. Light appetizers provided. Cash bar (beer, wine, soft drinks, water; registered attendees will receive one free drink ticket at the door)

RSVP now

This will be an informal opportunity to meet and mingle with members of the local science writing community. If you have any questions, contact Tom Ulrich.

Thanks for additional support from:

The Graduate Program in Science Journalism at Boston University is a one-year experience tailored in particular to budding journalists with a strong science interest and background. Our program is media-neutral, offering courses in print, broadcast and on-line media, with a focus on story telling technique–particularly non-fiction narrative. Graduates of the program have gone on to have rich and fulfilling media
careers–ranging from public radio and television, to magazines, newspapers, and a wide variety of scientific institutions.

The Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT helps science and technology journalists build their competence, confidence, and connections through a nine-month fellowship program structured around course work, seminars, field trips, and workshops.

The MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing is a program for English and science majors, freelance writers or journalists seeking a specialty, working scientists, and others in which to learn the art and discipline of science writing.

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


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.





(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 (, is working on re-energizing the web site (, 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: 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.