Northern California Science Writers Association

May 2012 Newsletter for the Northern California Science Writers Association

Thursday, May 03, 2012 10:24 PM | Anonymous

NCSWA’s Coming Attractions:

May Spring Dinner Meeting

Thursday, May 17, join NCSWA members for a dinner event with Stanford associate professor Atul Butte, who will explain how science is being transformed by the data revolution. Butte's lab team has mined databases to find a gene that may play a causal role in Type 2 diabetes and has produced the equivalent of a molecular to identify off-patent drugs that are candidates to treat diseases.

Join us at Mijita, a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco's Ferry Building, at 6:30 p.m. for
appetizers, a buffet dinner and talk. For more information and to register, visit the NCSWA Website.

Special tour of Buckminster Fuller exhibit at Museum of Modern Art
Saturday, July 14, NCSWA members are invited to a special tour of "The Utopian
Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area" at SF MOMA. This tour will be held for NCSWA members alone, starting at 1:30 p.m. for about an hour. To read more about the exhibit, visit the SFMOMA Website. More information coming soon!

Coast Range Hike and Overnight Camp at Angelo Reserve
Saturday, August 25, the University of California's Natural Reserve System is opening its private land at Angelo Coast Range Reserve, north of Fort Bragg, to NCSWA members for a hike guided by UC Berkeley scientists talking about research at the site. The hike will be followed by an (optional) overnight stay, camping or bunking in cabins. Members are invited to bring spouses, partners and kids. More information to come, but mark your calendars for this special event.

Miss the March dinner? Read about it here:

Stanford neuroscientist Tom Rando joined NCSWA at the Basque Cultural Center for a talk on how humans may one day reset the aging clock. Rando is pursuing evidence that substances found in the blood of the young may be able to rejuvenate aging bodies, as seen in lab studies of mice. Rando's work suggests it may be possible to identify biochemical stimuli that can induce stem cells in old tissues to repair injuries as effectively as in young tissues. This may have implications for the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation.

NCSWA About Town

Janet Byron and Robin Meadows were part of a team that won a bronze award for technical publications from ACE (the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences) for California Agriculture's special issue called "Food as Medicine: Can what we eat help cure what ails us?" Robin also won an ACE bronze award for a news article called "Biofactors in food linked to
health benefits" that was in the same issue. Janet won a silver ACE award for
editing a research article called "California agritourism operations and their
economic potential are growing" in the April-June 2011 issue of California Agriculture.

Liza Gross, senior editor at PLoS Biology and a freelance writer, started blogging for KQED Quest in February at She
writes primarily about ecology, wildlife and environment health, and she says
she'll try to keep posts on mountain lions to a minimum.

Christine Heinrichs is organizing an evening at Hearst Castle with videos and adventure by marine biologist Holly Lohuis, field producer for Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Future
Society underwater video team. She'll describe her experiences while showing
video on Hearst Castle Theater's giant 50-foot screen in San Simeon, Saturday
May 5. $10 tickets are available at

Judith Horstman is publishing her fourth book on the brain, The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain: The Neuroscience of Making the Most of Your Mature Mind, in late May.

Robin Marks, president of NCSWA, is teaming up with Fog City Tutoring on a series of three summer science writing workshops for kids grades 5-8, called "Discovering Writing through Science Explorations."

John Moir received the first-place award for the 2012 Outstanding Profile Article from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Moir's article, "The Chameleon," appeared in
the Washington Post's Sunday magazine and tells the story of a US Fish & Wildlife Service undercover agent who works to save endangered species. The award was presented at the ASJA conference in New York City in April.

Corinna Wuis consulting with the Minerva Foundation on media outreach for the Tenth International Conference on Neuroesthetics, "The Importance of Being Playful," a free eventthat takes place on May 26-27 at UC Berkeley.

New Members:

Sara Reardon of San Francisco, a reporter for New Scientist.

Deborah Cowing, an aspiring science writer. After getting her PhD in molecular biology and doing post-doctoral research at UCSF, she took off time to raise two kids and is now
hoping to break into science writing.

Kathleen Masterson, who formerly reported for Harvest Public Media in Des Moines, Iowa. She recently took an environment reporter position with Capital Public Radio in
Sacramento, where she will continue to follow agriculture and environment issues.

Miriam Pinchuk of San Francisco, a freelance writer and editor who recently returned to the Bay Area. Her interests are medicine, the environment and scientific literacy - making science accessible to people who think science is too difficult.

ShaunParker, a student at SF State.

Brenda Mengeling of Davis.

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