Northern California Science Writers Association

NCSWA News November 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012 8:10 PM | Donna Alvarado (Administrator)
November 2012
November 2012 Newsletter for the Northern California Science Writers Association
Editor: Donna Alvarado,

NCSWA's Coming Attractions

Dec. 5 Holiday Dinner: Hear the Author of “Nerds on Wall Street”
Come enjoy our annual holiday dinner while getting educated to the wiles of Wall Street and financial markets. Our dinner speaker is Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s David Leinwebber, who holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, has worked as a computer scientist at MIT, and has founded two financial technology firms with clients including many global brokerage and investment firms. In keeping with our annual holiday tradition, our December dinner guests will include out-of-town colleagues visiting from the AGU (American Geophysical Union) meeting in SF, and we’ll have a top-notch line-up for the science trivia contest with whacky door prizes galore. Meet at Picaro Restaurant in SF’s Mission district, with a menu that includes paella, calamari, garlic shrimp and other Spanish tapas.
To reserve a spot, please go to NCSWA’s new web site. First-time users can click on “Forgot password” to generate a new password.

Jan. 12 Workshop: All the Data You Can Eat
 Save the date for NCSWA’s Data Journalism Workshop at the University of San Francisco on Jan. 12, 2013. The workshop will be led by Peter Aldhous, San Francisco Bureau Chief of New Scientist, and will be affordable thanks to a generous Ideas Grant from NASW. Now’s your chance to learn a powerful new journalism tool that is increasingly in demand: mining datasets for specific information that tells a compelling story, and can be visualized easily and simply!

Coming Awards, Deadlines and Training:

Entries for the 2013 National Association of Science Writers annual Science in Society Journalism Award open on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Check back at (“Awards/Grants”) on that date for a link to the online entry platform and complete rules for material published or broadcast in 2012. The deadline for entering is Feb. 1, 2013. Categories for the 2013 awards include books, commentary and opinion, science reporting, science reporting for a local or regional market, and longform science reporting.

Nominations for the American Geophysical Union’s annual awards contest for excellence in science journalism open on Jan. 16, 2013, with a deadline of March 16. The AGU’s David Perlman Award, named for San Francisco Chronicle’s science reporter, recognizes work done on a deadline of one week or less and comes with a stipend of $5,000. The AGU’s Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence is given for science feature writing, defined as work prepared with a deadline of more than one week. For more information, visit the AGU’s site and fill in the window for a keyword search with “science journalism.”

The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment has ended, with the Grantham Foundation shifting its collaboration with the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting to science training programs for reporters. Metcalf will offer one-week and two-day programs on specific topics including water quality, environmental toxins and climate change impacts, with information on its website at

NCSWA About Town

Robert Adler has written another cover feature for New Scientist, “Neutrinos: the next big small thing,” in the Sept. 10 issue. The story describes the ways in which neutrino research may lead physics beyond the standard model.

Janet Byron has a new job as senior communications consultant for the Kaiser Permanente division of research in Oakland, where she will be helping to publicize peer-reviewed studies published by Kaiser Permanente scientists.

Christine Heinrichs’s article on otters was published on Audubon's web site, She was elected to the Mayborn's Ten Spurs Society, and her story was published in the 2012 Ten Spurs literary journal,

Becky Oskin is back to working full-time as a staff writer for, after four years of part-time freelancing. She works remotely from Davis.

Paul Kleyman, director of the ethnic elders newsbeat for New America Media, headed to San Diego recently to co-run the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellows program, a collaboration between New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.


Amy Adams, communications manager at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Nurith Amitai, a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego

Diana Divecha of Berkeley, a developmental psychologist

Nadia Drake, a freelancer for Wired Science

Diana Hembree of Berkeley

Daniela Hernandez of Redwood City, community manager at

Hannah Krakauer of Los Altos Hills, a writer with New Scientist

John Moir of Santa Cruz, an author and environmental journalist whose special interest is the preservation of biodiversity.

Leena Prasad of San Francisco, a science writer with

Sarah Sargent of Chicago, who will be moving to the Bay Area soon. She does exhibit writing at the Field Museum of Natural History

Michelle Slocombe of San Francisco, who is at San Francisco State University

Sarah Stanley of Mountain View, a freelancer

Amy Stewart, a fourth-year undergraduate at UC Davis majoring in microbiology who writes on a part-time basis for Techwire ( and freelances for the American Society of Animal Science

Thomas Sumner, a student in the UC Santa Cruz Science Communications program

Janet White of Richmond, Executive Editor of the California Agriculture journal

Marcus Woo, a freelancer

NCSWA also welcomes three returning members:

Glennda Chui, a senior editor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Steve Tokar of San Francisco, a freelancer

John Watson of Sunnyvale, a contract writer with the UC Davis Health System

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