The San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) is a growing group of writers, including staff journalists, freelance journalists, public information officers, students and other science communicators in the region.
After several years of dormancy, the San Diego Science Writers Association was relaunched in the summer of 2018. The San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our bylaws are available upon request.
2018-20 Board Members
- Ramin Skibba, PhD (President)
- Tiffany Fox (Vice President)
- Josh Baxt (Web Editor)
- Allie Akmal (Treasurer)
- Heather Buschman, PhD (Newsletter editor)
- Katherine Leitzell, MS (Secretary)
- Steve Murray
2020-2021 Board Members
- Jeff Berkwits, Board Member at Large
- Brittany Fair, MS, Board Member at Large
- Patricia Fernandez, MS, Board Member at Large
- Jackie Liu, Board Member at Large
- Xochitl Rojas-Rocha, Board Member at Large
SANDSWA Senior Advisor (Retired): Lynne Friedmann
Lynne has been a science writer/editor for more than 30 years. As a teacher/lecturer, she has trained hundreds to become successful science writers.
Here’s some SANDSWA history, courtesy of Lynne.
Beginning in the 1980s, the San Diego Science Writers Association was a loose confederation of science news reporters and university PIOs who met regularly at the 5 o’clock dinner hour – rush-hour traffic was unheard of in those laid-back days. A researcher would be invited to share a sandwich with the scribes at a local eatery and – between bites and passing the mustard – answered questions about his/her research. By the mid-1990s, the group shifted the meetings to a breakfast format for a while and then went quiet for a couple of years.
In 1998, the group reemerged with the sassy acronym SANDSWA and a stated mission to “provides professional networking and social events for science writers in San Diego County.” With a new sense of vigor and purpose, for more than a decade a diverse group of newspaper reporters, radio and TV broadcasters, consumer and trade magazine writers, PIOs, PR professionals, technical writers, and students met on a regular basis at events hosted by virtually every research institute on Torrey Pines Mesa as well as the SD Natural History Museum, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Birch Aquarium, and wandered as far afield as the Palomar Observatory. There were even special-interest groups. An example of which was the equestrian-loving “Science Writer Riders.”
In 2007, SANDSWA held a one-day professional development workshop that drew speakers and attendees from throughout Southern California