December Updates

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Sorry for the prosaic title, things are hectic.

First, you may have noticed the groovy new SANDSWA logo. Many thanks to Sanford Burnham Prebys science writer Monica May for the concept and graphic designer Priyanka Paurana for the finished product. For her creativity, Monica won a year’s membership in SANDSWA – nice.

On January 3, SANDSWA members are getting a free Ruben H. Fleet Science Center tour, featuring CEO Steven Snyder, PhD, and marketing director Wendy Grant. Not a member? That’s easily remedied: JOIN NOW.

Happy-Hour.jpgThere was another awesome happy hour at AleSmith on December 4. We’re sad if you missed it, but there will be another one coming up in February. We’re open to location suggestions.

Want to improve your science writing chops? SANDSWA board members Heather Buschman and Tiffany Fox are teaching UC San Diego Extension’s Science Writing I, Tuesday evenings January 15 through March 12. This course changes lives. Check it out.

And finally, do you feel like SANDSWA’s blog posts have gotten a little monochrome (exhibit A)? That’s okay, you can help fix it. We are constantly looking for guest bloggers to add new ideas into the mix. Send us a note, we’re always open.

 

Happy Hour, etc.

Happy Hour3Last Wednesday, we hung out with 40 of our closest friends at AleSmith, off Miramar Rd. We quaffed a beer or two, talked shop and watched Marine Ospreys land at the nearby airbase. Thanks everyone who came and sorry if you missed it. Don’t worry, more on the way.

There’s a rumor going around that one of our attendees received a job offer mid-happy hour. That’s some next-level networking, and we applaud the effort. More on that as new information comes in, but I think it’s just one more proof point that SANDSWA is the nexus of all things good in the world.

On a related note, Salk Institute is looking for a science writer. I relay this with some reluctance, since I freelance for them and a new FTE means less Salk for me. Still, must look beyond my own selfish self-interest and encourage qualified people to apply. They have an awesome comms team and cool faculty.

SANDSWA is up to 43 members – including eight newbies on Wednesday. Thanks everyone for joining. For those who are not members yet, please peruse our member benefits and immediately sign up. We will be your friends forever and ever.

What’s next? On September 26, we’re doing a tour and tasting at White Labs in Mira Mesa. Better yeast means better beer and White Labs is on top of it. The event starts at 5:30 and costs $10. We will have the registration up shortly. And, no, we do not drink too much. We drink exactly the right amount.

You should follow us on Facebook and Twitter – your productivity has been way too high lately.

Thanks for Being our Friends

Welcome SignWe reconstituted SANDSWA because we thought there might be pent up demand for a local science writing organization. Judging by the response at yesterday’s Farmer & The Seahorse happy hour, we weren’t wrong.

We guesstimate around 50 people showed up – freelancers, PIOs, journalists, marketing and PR pros, postdocs, grad students and at least one PI. People came from UCSD, Salk, SBP, LIAI, the UT, Canale, CG Life, Little Dog. There were past, present and (possibly) future San Diego Business Journal biotech writers. Thanks everyone for coming. And if you couldn’t make it, we missed you.

In a way, it was like a big family reunion where everyone gets along. We got to meet (IRL) so many people we knew only via email. There were former colleagues reacquainting and more than a few who had held the same positions at different times.

On a personal note, I’ve been to science events where I’m the only writer, and I have to explain what I do. And I’ve been to PR and journalism events where I’m the only science writer, and I have to explain what I do. It was nice getting to skip the preamble.

Steve2So, what’s next? There will be networking, facility tours, speakers, book signings. Stay tuned for a calendar of events (coming soon). If there’s anything you’d like to see, please let us know.

In the interim, you can become a member – only $25 or $15 for fulltime students. Join by July 31 and your one-year membership becomes an 18-month membership. You won’t have to re-up until 2020.

On the social media side, please follow, like and retweet on Twitter @SANDSWA2. We will be opening our Facebook page soon as well, so watch out for that.

We’re also looking for volunteers. You can help plan events, take on administrative duties or submit a guest blog. Send us a nice note, sandswa.info@gmail.com. We want to keep in touch.