SANDSWA Exclusive Events

Upcoming events

J. Craig Venter Institute Tour

When: Thursday, June 1, 2023, 4:00-6:00 p.m
Where: J. Craig Venter Institute
4120 Capricorn Lane, La Jolla California 92037

Register here

SANDSWA members are invited to a hosted tour of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a world leader in genomic research. JCVI’s mission is to understand more about the biological world and to develop unique insights and answers about disease, health and the environment. Following the tour, join JCVI Founder, CEO and genetics/genomics pioneer Craig Venter and JCVI scientist John Glass, professor and leader of JCVI’s Synthetic Biology Group, for a question-and-answer session. Tour admission and parking are free for SANDSWA members.

Around Town (And Online)

Kavli Conversations on Science Communication

When: Recurring
More information
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU

Sunday Sci Wri

Sundays (recurring)
Prompted by Ben Landis from CapSciComm: For fellow writers in need of a fun, no-pressure reason to pen something creatively, join us!

Past Events

Museum Collections Tour and Nat at Night

When: Friday, May 19, 2023, 4:00-10:00 p.m
Where: San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Register here

Join SANDSWA for a backstage tour of the Nat to explore their paleontology collections, research archives, and much more. Afterwards, enjoy free admission to Nat at Night, the museum’s monthly invitation to explore the museum after dark and enjoy refreshments on their rooftop patio.

Tour is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Nat at Night starts at 5:00 p.m.

Note: The tour and free admission to Nat at Night are limited to the first 15 registered SANDSWA members (no guests). All others are still encouraged to join us for Nat at Night. Admission to Nat at Night is free for museum members and $11 for the general public. Tickets are available at the door.

SANDSWA Happy Hour + Taste of Science

When: Thursday, April 20, 2023
Where: Bay City Brewing Co.
3760 Hancock St., San Diego, CA 92110

Join us for a SANDSWA Happy Hour just before this year’s first annual Taste of Science-San Diego event, featuring entertaining talks by Michelle Sexton and Sierra Wilson of UC San Diego on the science of cannabis. Happy hour starts at 5:00 p.m., Taste of Science starts at 6:00 p.m. 

Tickets to Taste of Science are $5, available here:
Be sure to check out the rest of this year’s Taste of Science events as well!

Frontiers in Pediatric Genomic Medicine Conference

When: April 19-20, 2023
Where: Scripps Seaside Forum
8610 Kennel Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) is hosting their annual Frontiers in Pediatric Genomic Medicine Conference in La Jolla April 19 and 20 at Scripps Seaside Forum.  Frontiers will be a two-day event filled with presentations from genomics leaders on pediatric genomics, healthcare reimbursement, how biopharma companies can help end the therapeutic odyssey for kids with rare diseases and other topics. RCIGM is offering San Diego Science Writers Association members a special rate to attend the conference. You can register with the code SDSWA15.

If you have questions, contact Jenny Mehlow, Public Relations Manager for RCIGM at

Science Writing Virtual Career Panel

Career panel followed by Q&A session

When: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 6:00-7:30 p.m. PT
Where: Zoom:
Meeting ID: 853 6906 4694
RSVP here

Interested in learning more about careers in science writing and communication? Hear the ins and outs from three accomplished San Diego science writers. 

Panelists include:
Jonathan Wosen, Biotech and Life Sciences Reporter at STAT News, previously at San Diego Union-Tribune
Kellie Woodhouse, Executive Director of Research Communications at UC San Diego, previously at San Diego State University
Jessica Yingling, Founder and President of biotech PR firm Little Dog Communications

[This panel marks the first in a series of career development workshops launching throughout the year. Each event will target a slightly more seasoned crowd than the last, so that all SANDSWA members have something to learn from. Look out for future events in this series!]

SANDSWA 2023 Open House + Happy Hour

When: Thursday, March 9, 2023, 6:00 p.m. PT
Where: Embolden Beer Co., 8655 Production Ave, Ste A, San Diego, CA 92121
Registration: RSVP link
New members are encouraged to attend!

Are you a current or aspiring science writer? Interested in SANDSWA but haven’t made it to many events?  Been a member and just want to catch up over a beer? All are welcome to join us for our next happy hour and open house! Learn about what SANDSWA is, hear from the current board members, and meet other local science writers. The brewery has a welcoming outdoor space where we’ll be gathering to chat and try out new brews. Just look for the white SANDSWA sign!

SciComm Coffee Break @ LJI: Inside the World of Immunology + Women’s Health

When: Thursday, February 9, 2023, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. PST
Where: La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), 9420 Athena Circle, San Diego, CA 92037

RSVP via Eventbrite

La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) invites SANDSWA members and local science communicators to the Institute for a fascinating immunology Q&A and a well-deserved coffee break!

Our speaker will be LJI Associate Professor Sonia Sharma, Ph.D., a researcher whose work has shed light on the immune cells involved in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including the vascular symptoms of diseases such as COVID-19. Dr. Sharma is currently spearheading an LJI initiative to study sex-based differences in the immune system and why many diseases affect men and women differently.

Bring your curiosity and any questions you have about this growing field of study! We hope you’ll also stay for coffee and pastries in our atrium, where you’ll have a chance to network with SciComm colleagues and meet more LJI scientists.

This event is open to science communicators at any level, including interested students.

About LJI: LJI is an independent non-profit research institute located on the UC San Diego campus. The Institute is home to 23 laboratories focused on better understanding how the fundamental workings of the immune system affect human health. LJI researchers study infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, allergy, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and more. Check out LJI press releasesblog, and Immune Matters magazine.

Questions? Contact LJI Science Writer Madeline McCurry-Schmidt at

Virtual Book Club: Author Discussion with Lyndsie Bourgon

When: Thursday, January 26, 2023, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. PST
Where: Zoom

Join us for a discussion with author Lyndsie Bourgon of Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods (Little, Brown Spark). Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.

SANDSWA Tide Pool Guided Tour

When: Saturday, January 21, 2023, 2:30 p.m. PST
Where: Ocean Beach Pier, 1850 Ocean Front St, San Diego, CA 92107
RSVP here

Credit Selena Morar/Unsplash

Science writer and SANDSWA member Cypress Hansen leads a free, guided tour of the Ocean Beach tidepools during the lowest point of the famous King Tides. Join us for an afternoon of exploring San Diego’s shores as we learn about King Tides’ effects on our local environment, and find new and exciting critters! 

This event is family friendly and allows for social distancing. Appropriate gear includes windproof layers, waterproof phone cases, and sturdy, close-toed shoes. Please do not wear flip-flops or crocs or go barefoot, and be prepared to arrive early to account for weekend traffic and parking.

Cypress Hansen is the Science Communications Manager at the San Diego Natural History Museum. A graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Master’s Program, she has written for Knowable Magazine, Mercury News, Scientific American, Smithsonian Voices, and more, about a range of topics including wildfire, noise pollution, whales, mosquito diversity, and fungi. Cypress also creates nature-inspired art through various media.

Note: If you’re interested in this event, you may enjoy participating in the annual King Tides project. The project analyzes volunteer photograph submissions of the highest high tides during the King Tide event to map the impacts of future sea level rise. Check out the project website for more information.

SANDSWA December Social Hour

When: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. PST
Where: Joya Kitchen, 10275 Science Center Dr #150, San Diego, CA 92121
RSVP here

Olena Sergienko/Unsplash

Ready to wrap up the year with your fellow SANDSWA members? Join us for our last social hour of 2022 on Wednesday, December 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Joya Kitchen near UC San Diego campus! Joya Kitchen is a contemporary restaurant offering organic, farm fresh foods in a modern and welcoming space. We’ll meet on the lawn near the outdoor games.

Farewell Party for Board Member Laura Trethewey 

When: Thursday, November 17, 2022, 5:30-7 p.m. PST
Where: Rincon Reservation Road Brewery Ocean Beach Tasting Room; 4836 Newport Avenue

Join us as we say good-bye to Board Member Laura Trethewey as she departs for a new adventure in Hamilton, Canada. You may know Laura from her editing work on the newsletter or coordinating the SANDSWA book club. She’s a freelance ocean journalist writing her second non-fiction book all about mapping the seafloor. The Deepest Map is coming out from Harper Wave next summer, 2023 and you can follow along on the publishing journey by signing up to her newsletter. Come raise a glass and wish Laura well!

Location notes: The tasting room is indoors; we will try to obtain seats open to an outside window. Outside food is welcome and OB Meat Company across the street will deliver food at no extra cost.

SANDSWA Visits the Ocean Discovery Institute

When: Monday, November 14, 2022, 4-5:30 p.m. PST
Where: The Ocean Discovery Institute, 4255 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92105
Registration: RSVP here

Credit Ocean Discovery Institute

The Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI) has invited SANDSWA to tour its beautiful campus in City Heights and sit in on one of its after-school science camps on the afternoon of Monday, November 14. Attendees will view the institute’s Living Laboratory and get to engage with students as they undertake a reflection activity with the institute’s Writer-in-Residence.

ODI inspires the next generation of leaders in STEM by engaging with local youth who are traditionally excluded due to race, income status, and educational opportunity. Other opportunities for supporting their mission include:

  • Participating in a 20-minute virtual Q&A with ODI students discussing your career pathway and journey to science communication. More details (Note: Scientists are also welcome to join as speakers).
  • Volunteering as a science mentor to ODI students. More details (Note: Scientists are also welcome to join as mentors).

Please reach out to if you’re interested in pursuing any of the opportunities listed above. You can learn more about the institute and its mission at

SANDSWA November Happy Hour

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022 at 6 p.m. PST
Where: Embolden Beer Co., 8655 Production Ave, Ste A, San Diego, CA 92121
Registration: RSVP here

Join us at Embolden Beer Co. in Miramar Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. for our next happy hour! The brewery has a welcoming outdoor space, where we’ll be gathering to chat, try out new brews, and meet the candidates for the 2023-2025 SANDSWA board. Just look for the white SANDSWA sign!

SANDSWA Book Club (In-Person)

When: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 5:30-7 pm PST
Where: Rincon Reservation Road Brewery Ocean Beach Tasting Room; 4836 Newport Avenue 
Registration: RSVP here

Join us as we discuss Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science, authored by Jessica Hernandez, Ph.D., Maya Ch’orti’ and Zapotec environmental scientist. Within she breaks down why western conservationism isn’t working and offers Indigenous models informed by case studies, personal stories and family histories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors. 

We’ll discuss this book at Rincon Reservation Road Brewery in Ocean Beach, the first tribally owned brewery in Southern California. The brewery is owned and operated by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and has a goal of educating and paying tribute to their heritage while making quality craft beer from sustainable ingredients inspired by their culture. 

Location notes: The tasting room is indoors; we will try to obtain seats that open to an outside window (see photo). Outside food is welcome and OB Meat Company across the street will deliver food at no extra cost. On Wednesdays, acoustic music begins at 7 pm.

SANDSWA Tour of the San Diego Comic-Con Museum

When: Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 10am – 1pm PST
Where: Comic-Con Museum, 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
Cost: Free

Join SANDSWA on Saturday, October 1st, for a tour of the San Diego Comic-Con Museum in beautiful Balboa Park! Attendees will have the chance to enjoy a docent-led tour of the museum’s anchor exhibit, “Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing,” followed by a private maker lab experience with several options for hands-on activities. While we are making, we’ll spend some time getting to know one another, with the potential for forging connections and future opportunities with museum staff. 

Tickets are typically $30 per adult so be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity! Attendees are welcome to engage with the museum for the rest of the day following the tour and maker activity. 

Additional notes: Free parking is available near the museum. All Comic-Con Museum guests are required to wear face masks during the visit. Please note: this tour is free, but we may request a nominal fee depending on demand. Thank you for your understanding!

SANDSWA September Happy Hour

When: Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 6 pm PST
Where: Culture Brewing Co, 111 S Cedros Ave Suite 200, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Registration: RSVP here

Set aside some time in mid-September to join us for a happy hour at Culture Brewing Co in Solana Beach! Come beat the heat with cold drinks and the coastal breeze, and meet your fellow SANDSWA members. The brewery will have a women- and veteran-owned food truck on site serving Hawaiian and Filipino food. We will be meeting at the brewery’s outdoor patio.

Credit Culture Brewing Co

SANDSWA Birthday Potluck

Ankush Minda/Unsplash

When: Sunday, July 10, 2022 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm PST
Where: Morley Field Park, 2221 Morley Field Dr, San Diego, CA 92104

On Sunday, July 10, we invite you to celebrate SANDSWA’s fourth birthday with us with a potluck at Morley Field Park. We’ll mix and mingle, enjoy the sunshine, and play a game of science-themed trivia to win prizes!

SANDSWA Tour of the Living Coast Discovery Center

Courtesy Living Coast Discovery Center

When: Saturday, June 25, 2022, 10 am PST
Where: 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91910

Join your SANDSWA colleagues for a morning tour of the Living Coast Discovery Center, a hidden gem in South County located on San Diego Bay. Family members (Living Coast is kid-friendly) are welcome to join you as you explore birds, reptiles and assorted marine life. No cost to SANDSWA members. More info on the Living Coast Discovery Center here.

SANDSWA June Social Hour

Courtesy of Pure Project North Park

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 5:00 pm PST
Where: Pure Project North Park | 2867 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
RSVP here

On Wednesday, June 8, join us at Pure Project North Park for a SANDSWA social hour! We’ll mix and mingle and bid a fond farewell to former SANDSWA President Ramin Skibba ahead of his upcoming move. Food trucks are typically on site.

Please note: Space may be limited at this location and seating may require flexibility. We thank you for your understanding, and we hope to see you there!

Coastal Roots Farm Tour

Coastal Roots Farm

When: Sunday, May 22, 2022 from 1 – 2 pm PST
Where: Coastal Roots Farm (441 Saxony Rd. Encinitas, CA 92024)
Cost: Tickets are $18/person, children 12 and under join free!
Registration: RSVP here and purchase your tickets at the Paypal link below.

Spring is in full bloom—come enjoy agricultural beauty at a local urban farm! The Coastal Roots Farm Director will lead us on a walking tour of the property, to include vegetable production fields, the education farm and gardens, a food forest, chickens, and compost operations. You will learn about the techniques that the faCoastal Roots Farm (441 Saxony Rd. Encinitas, CA 92024)rm uses to counteract the negative impacts of climate change and how they maintain farming practices used by the first peoples of the land. Additionally, the Coastal Roots pay-what-you-can Farm Stand will be open from 10am – 3pm, for anyone who wants to purchase sustainably grown, fresh, tasty local produce! 

Family and friends are welcome to participate. Please see event details for ticket information. Note: The tour requires about 1 mile of walking in the open sun. It is recommended that attendees wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. 

SANDSWA Social Hour at Taste of Science 

When: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 6-9 pm 

Credit Drew Beamer/Unsplash
  • SANDSWA social hour: 6-7pm
  • Taste of Science event: 7-9pm

Where: Duck Foot Brewing Co. | Miramar, 8920 Kenamar Drive #210 San Diego, 92121


  • No entry fee for the SANDSWA social hour!
  • Tickets for the Taste of Science event are $5/person (make sure you reserve them at the link below ahead of time!)

On Tuesday, April 19, join your fellow SANDSWA members at Duck Foot Brewing Co. in Miramar for a night of science, drinks, and networking! We’ll start the night with a free SANDSWA social hour indoors at 6pm, followed by the larger Taste of Science event at 7pm.  A taco truck will be onsite.

Extracting Meaning from Motion: From Language to the Ocean

From gestures and sign language to ocean waves, motion can tell us a lot about the world. Come kick off the first in-person Taste of Science San Diego event since 2019, and hear from two local scientists about their work on human language and oceanography!

Featured researchers include Dr. Carol Padden, Dean of the School of Social Sciences at UC San Diego, and Dr. Jen MacKinnon, physical oceanographer with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. Don’t forget to also check out the full roster (scroll past the banner) of Taste of Science events happening around San Diego, April 17-30, 2022. This year, the festival features events in Point Loma, North Park, and University Heights.

Virtual Networking Night with the Northwest Science Writers Association (NSWA)

When: Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 6:30-7:30p.m. PST
Where: Zoom

Credit Chris Montgomery/Unsplash

Join SANDSWA and NSWA for a night of networking online! Come meet your Pacific Northwest counterparts, make new connections, and learn more about how others in your field approach the craft. This event is free.

NSWA brings together audiences to improve science literacy, improve the craft of writing and communication, and spur learning in science. If you know someone interested in scicomm in the Pacific Northwest, encourage them to check out NSWA! You can find out more about them on their website.

SANDSWA Social Justice in Science Writing February meeting 

Lisa Peterson, Executive Director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

When: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 from 6-7 pm PT
Where: Zoom

We are delighted that Lisa Petersen, executive director of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, will join us to share more about the organization’s recent Indigenous Peoples’ Day collaboration, in which they hosted the people of the Kumeyaay Nation to celebrate and honor the significance of the day. She’ll discuss the event’s origin, any hurdles or best practices her or her team encountered, and more. Background readings about the event are below. 

San Diego Union-Tribune: Safari Park honors Kumeyaay culture during inaugural Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration

NBC San Diego: Safari Park Hosts Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration With Kumeyaay Nation Tribe

Press release: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Honors the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians and Native Wildlife During Historic Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration

Panel Discussion: Careers in Science Writing (Virtual)

When: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from 12 – 1 pm PST
Where: Recording available here

Thinking about a career in science writing? Hear from professionals in journalism and communications about various career paths during a virtual panel. The event, hosted by San Diego State University, San Diego Science Writers Association and San Diego Society of Professional Journalists, will include four panelists:

·         Heather Buschman (Assistant Communications Director at UC San Diego, science writing instructor at UC San Diego Extension)

·         Katy Stegall (SDSU student, inaugural Bradley J. Fikes Scholarship recipient and investigative assistant at KPBS)

·         Jared Whitlock (freelance journalist, Knight Science Journalism fellow)

·         Jonathan Wosen (biotech reporter at the San Diego Union-Tribune)

Moderated by Temple Northup, Director and Professor at School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University.

Information about all our speakers as well as readings and resources can be found on our website:

SANDSWA Book Club (Virtual)

When: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 from 5 pm PST
Where: Zoom

Join us for the first book club of 2022! We’ll be meeting virtually to discuss Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson, the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs. In this gripping account, Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launch a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.

Register for this meeting at

SANDSWA Social Justice in Science Writing Club

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 6-7pm
Where: Zoom Registration

Join us for this bimonthly gathering where we listen, learn and support each other as we strive to make science writing more equitable and just. At this meeting we’ll discuss “The Photographer’s Guide to Inclusive Photography” by Authority Collective, a group of more than 200 womxn, non-binary and gender expansive people of color working in the photography, film and VR/AR industries, and PhotoShelter, a digital asset management tool. We’ll also continue to share what has been working well for us and anything with which we may be struggling. Please read the article in advance of the meeting.  

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, speakers or educational materials, contact SANDSWA board member Monica May at

Ciencia en Español: Communicating Science to Spanish Speakers 

When: Wednesday November 3, 2021, 12-1 p.m. PST on Zoom

In San Diego, nearly a third of the population speaks Spanish, and nationally nearly 40 million people speak the language at home. Yet, science communication remains primarily English centered. As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, face the threat of climate change and more, the need to communicate scientific news–including clinical trial openings, research breakthroughs and awe-inspiring science–in the language people are most comfortable speaking is essential. 

Join the San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)-San Diego/Tijuana for a conversation about the importance of communicating science to Spanish speakers and how to do so effectively and responsibly. 

We are also grateful to the many journalists, outlets and organizations that are already doing critical work on this front, and have listed several readings and resources below. 

Meet our speakers:

Additional readings and resources:

NSWA + SANDSWA Trivia Night

When: Thursday, October 28, 2021 from 6-7pm
Where: Zoom

Time to memorize Wikipedia! SANDSWA and NSWA are hosting an online trivia night this month on Thursday, October 28th at 6:00 p.m. PT. Play as a team, mix it up with random other players, or strike out on your own as you battle to be the reigning monarch of minutia.

Sign up in advance at:

Join Zoom Meeting:


When: Wednesday Oct 27, 2021, 5:30-6:30 pm
Where: Kate Sessions Park*

*Meeting held on the grass behind the washrooms at the Kate Sessions main parking lot. Bring a blanket!

Book: Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life

Come join the SANDSWA book club as we dive into the award-winning “Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures” by biologist and writer Merlin Sheldrake.

When we think of fungi, we probably think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that support and sustain nearly all living systems. Sheldrake’s mind-bending journey into this hidden world ranges from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that sprawl for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms – and our relationships with them – are changing our understanding of how life works.


When: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 from 6:30-8pm
Where: Amplified Aleworks + Brewery in Pacific Beach, 4150 Mission Blvd #208, San Diego (in-person event)

Book: Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower (2000 edition)

In SANDSWA’s first in-person book club since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll discuss renowned sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler’s classic dystopian novel, Parable of the Sower. Originally published in 1993, Butler’s strangely prescient sci-fi trilogy takes place in a dystopic climate-change ravaged Southern California of 2025.

Summary: In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

SANDSWA Social Justice in Science Writing Club

When: Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 6pm-7pm
Where: Zoom Registration

Join us for this once-a-month gathering where we listen, learn and support each other as we strive to make science writing more equitable and just. At this meeting we’ll discuss what has been working well for us, anything we may be struggling with, and share thoughts and reactions to this month’s reading.

This meeting will center on the “Conscious Style Guide” website. Please review the website in advance of the meeting.If you have questions or suggestions for topics, speakers or educational materials, contact SANDSWA board member Monica May at

SANDSWA Happy Hour

When: Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 5:30-7pm 
Where: AleSmith Brewing Company, 9990 AleSmith Ct, San Diego, CA 92126

Join SANDSWA for the first in-person happy hour in over a year! We’ll be meeting at AleSmith (which offers plenty of outdoor seating) for friendly conversation and networking. 

Becoming an Ally to the LGBTQIA+ Community

When: Friday, June 25, 2021 from 2-4 pm
Where: Zoom

Wesley Paláu (They/Them/Their (English), Élle (Spanish)), assistant director of equity and inclusion at the Pride Center at San Diego State University, will lead a SafeZones training at the next meeting of the Social Justice in Science Writing club. This session is designed to train allies who help create an accepting and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning individuals.

Please register as soon as you can—we will close registration one week prior to the event to ensure we have an accurate sense of attendance. Note the process will take approximately two hours.

In preparation for this conversation, please read the Open Notebook article, “Making Your Writing and Reporting Transgender-Inclusive.”

The training is very generously being offered free of charge. To express our gratitude, we encourage donations to The Pride Center Community Care Fund, which helps students who have been through difficult, life-altering situations as a result of coming out as or for being LGBTQ+. Students who have experienced these situations have also expressed financial hardship, risking their ability to be academically successful. A $20 donation is suggested, but any amount is greatly appreciated. 


When: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: Zoom. Register here:

Ainissa Ramirez’s The Alchemy of Us (MIT Press, 2020)

In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway’s writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid’s cameras to create passbooks to track Black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.

SANDSWA Social Justice in Science Writing Club

A conversation about DEIR with Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) 

When: Friday, April 23, 2021 from 2pm-3pm PT
Where: Zoom

Jessica H. Marshall, Ph.D., (she/her/hers), a science news editor at C&EN and member of the publication’s diversity committee, will join our next Social Justice in Science Writing club meeting and share insights into the publication’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) efforts. Jessica will first discuss tactics the outlet has implemented and lessons learned from the process, and then we’ll open the floor for questions.

In preparation for this conversation, please read the publication’s recent Trailblazers issue, which celebrates Black chemists and chemical engineers and was also fully written and produced by Black writers and communicators.

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, speakers or educational materials that may be helpful, contact SANDSWA board member Monica May at

SANDSWA x SDSU Webinar: Decolonizing Science Writing

When: Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm
Where: Online: Watch the recording

The eventful year of 2020 has brought with it a reminder of stark racial inequalities and injustices persistent in our society, as well as widespread demands to address them. For science writers, that means taking more care while deciding what stories to write, how to frame them, and which people to highlight in them. This could mean paying close attention to the disproportionate impacts of, say, air pollution or a public health measure on Black, Latinx or Indigenous people. It could also mean amplifying the voices of people of color who play leading roles in newsworthy scientific research. In this webinar, speakers Jane Hu, Shalina Chatlani, Jerry McCormick and David Coddon talked about their experience and recommendations involving these issues, followed by time for discussions and questions.

Ramin Skibba, President of San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) and an astrophysicist turned science writer and freelance journalist based in San Diego.

Prof. Amy Schmitz Weiss, School of Journalism and Media Studies, SDSU

Jane C. Hu is a freelance journalist living in Seattle. She is a contributing editor at High Country News and a regular contributor to Slate.

Jerry McCormick is an Emmy-winning producer and communications professional with 30 years of combined experience in broadcast, print journalism, and public relations. He is lecturer at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at SDSU. He also works as a Senior Public Information Officer for the City of San Diego.

Shalina Chatlani covers science and technology for KPBS. Her beat includes issues ranging from alternative energy to STEM education.

David Coddon is a longtime lecturer in journalism at San Diego State University.

This webinar is made possible by the San Diego Science Writers Association and the Center for Science and Media at SDSU in the School of Journalism and Media Studies.

SANDSWA Book Club: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin

When: Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 6:30-8pm
Where: Google Meets:

A classic science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.

Panel: The Science of Plastics in our Oceans

When: Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 5:00pm
Where: Virtual (watch your email for an invitation)
Join local scientists Jennifer Brandon and Theresa Talley as they speak about their research examining the effects of plastics in our oceans. 

SANDSWA + Northwest Science Writers Association (NSWA) Joint Happy Hour 

When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 5:30pm
Where: Check your email for Zoom link

The Science of Cheese

When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Where: Virtual
Join Jenny Eastwood from Smallgoods Cheese Shop & Cafe for cheese-tasting and exploring the science behind cheese from the comfort of your home!


When: September 15, 2020, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Google Meets or email Jenn MacArthur for a calendar invite
Join us for a discussion of Deep Medicine, in which local physician-author Eric Topolshares how artificial intelligence will empower physicians and revolutionize patient care.

SANDSWA Happy Hour 

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 5:00pm
Where: Zoom
With special guest Emily Anthes, an award-winning science journalist and author.

SANDSWA + SoCal Science Writers Virtual Happy Hour 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 5 p.m.

This was first joint virtual happy hour with the SoCal Science Writers group.

Members only:
Virtual SANDSWA Happy Hour

May 14, 2020, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
SANDSWA Virtual Happy Hour
Join us for Virtual Happy Hour hosted by board member Josh Baxt!
Members Only: For the Zoom link and password please check your email.

SANDSWA Book Club: The Emperor of All Maladies

May 19, 2020, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
SANDSWA Book Club: The Emperor of All Maladies
Google Meets Link or email Jeff Berkwits for a calendar invite at

What: Virtual Happy Hour
When: April 2, 2020, 5-6pm
Where: Zoom
Cost: Free – BYO drink & snacks
Members Only: Zoom

SANDSWA Happy Hour

What: Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar—Climate Change Edition
When: March 10, 2020, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Pure Project Brewing
2865 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Cost: Food and drink available for purchase

For this happy hour, we’re attending Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar, a popular outreach program led by the Fleet Science Center. This special edition, organized by SANDSWA member Alison Caldwell, PhD, Bigelow Science Communication Fellow at UC San Diego, will focus on climate change. Chat with local UC San Diego experts to learn about the many obvious and not-so-obvious ways climate change will likely touch all our lives — everything from more extreme natural disasters to health issues, water quality concerns and even financial impacts — and what we can do about it.

Bonus happy hour: If you can’t join SANDSWA for the Climate Change Edition, check out a nearby location on March 12 for Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar—Celebrating Women in STEM Edition.
Learn more here

SANDSWA Members Only: San Diego Zoo Institution for Conservation Research Tour

When: Friday, February 21, 2020, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: Institute for Conservation Research
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027
Cost: Free for SANDSWA members

The San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research is giving up to 20 SANDSWA members a unique opportunity to tour its Escondido facility. Learn about conservation genetics, reproductive science, recovery ecology and much more. Parking is extremely limited, and we strongly encourage carpools.
Please RSVP here to attend

SANDSWA Member Book Signing

When: December 5, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Book Catapult
3010-B Juniper St.
San Diego, CA 92104

Meet SANDSWA member Laura Trethewey and hear about her new book, The Imperiled Ocean: Human Stories from a Changing SeaIn this deeply reported work of narrative journalism, Laura follows people as they head out to sea, uncovering inspiring and dire lessons for the life of the ocean and for all of us back on land.

December Happy Hour

When: December 10, 2019
Where: AleSmith Brewing Company
9990 AleSmith Court (off Miramar Rd.)
San Diego, CA 92126
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Food and drink available for purchase
RSVP via Facebook Event

Come on out to our last event of the year! Everyone working in or even just interested in science writing and communication is welcome. Bring a friend or colleague.
Wear your SANDSWA gear for a chance to win.

SANDSWA shirts, mugs and more are now available in our online store. Order your items now, wear/bring them at the December 10 happy hour and you’ll be entered in a raffle for a free, one-year membership ($25 value). All proceeds help support SANDSWA events!

Celebration of Life for Bradley Fikes

When: December 12, 2019, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Ted Williams Room
Marriott Residence Inn
900 Bayfront Court, San Diego

Everyone is welcome to join us in celebrating the life of Bradley Fikes, San Diego Union-Tribune biotech reporter, who died November 20. Read more about Bradley’s life and work in this tribute written by his colleagues.


When: Tuesday Dec 3, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Where: Board & Brew

SAVE THE DATE for the next San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) book club. We’re reading/discussing “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh” by Carl Zimmer.

October Happy Hour

When: October 15, 2019, 5-7pm
Where: Alesmith, 9990 AleSmith Ct, San Diego, CA 92126

Meet the nominees for the 2020-2022 SANDSWA Board!

SANDSWA Board Election

When: November 4-8, 2019
Where: Online

It’s time to expand SANDSWA’s Board with up to five additional members, each serving a two-year term. The existing board will stay on for one more year to guide the transition. Our goal is to include new, diverse voices and build a pipeline for succession that will ensure the group’s long-term success. The nomination form includes the requirements to run and expectations of service. Once the new board is elected and seated, they will hold internal elections for specific positions.


When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Where: Quantum Brewing
5375 Kearny Villa Rd. #116
San Diego, CA 92123
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Book: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
View Facebook Event

In this third meeting of the SANDSWA book club, we discussed Bad Blood, which offers the “full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes.”

Palomar Observatory Tour

When: Saturday, July 20, 2019
Arrive by 9:30 a.m. for tour 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Where: 35899 Canfield Rd.
Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech. We will tour the Observatory, home to three active research telescopes, with UC San Diego astrophysicist Tom Murphy, who spent many a sleepless night there as a Caltech graduate student. Our tour will center on the 200-inch telescope inside the dome, and will include a walk around the outside catwalk, a review of Palomar‘s history, and a viewing of the drawings of Russell Porter (1871-1949), a member of the design team for the telescope, who is also widely recognized as a leader in the amateur telescope-making movement.

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at Salk

When: September 7, 2019, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Where: The Salk Institute
10010 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037

Only 17.7 percent of English Wikipedia biographies feature women. This number has increased by 2.7 percent in the past five years largely due to Wikipedia edit-a-thons – events in which participants work together to create and edit Wikipedia pages for notable women. These efforts increase the number of female role models.

This edit-a-thon, co-hosted by Salk Institute for Biological Studies, SAID in STEM500 Women Scientists – San Diego and San Diego Science Writers Association, focused on creating and improving Wikipedia pages for women scientists.


When: June 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Subterranean Coffee Boutique Hillcrest
412 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Book:Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs by David Grimm
RSVP: Email Mike Price

Southern California Science Writers Symposium 2019

When: Saturday, May 18, 2019, 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Where: University of Southern California (USC)
Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
1002 Childs Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Cost: $50 (discounted for volunteers & members)

Join us for the 2nd Annual SoCal Science Writing Symposium, organized by the SoCal Science Writers group. This day-long event will feature sessions on science videos, fellowships, investigative reporting, climate change and data journalism, as well as lots of networking opportunities. Email SANDSWA President Ramin Skibba if you’d like to volunteer to invite speakers, co-chair a panel or act as a greeter. Volunteering is a great way to network, and you’ll earn a discount on registration for the event.

April Happy Hour

When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Ballast Point
9045 Carroll Way (off Miramar Rd.)
San Diego, CA 92121
Cost: No entry fee, food and drinks available for purchase

Inviting all SANDSWA members and non-members to a casual, no-host happy hour. Meet SANDSWA organizers, mingle with fellow science writers and expand your network. Feel free to bring a friend or colleague interested in science communication. No RSVP necessary… just stop by whenever you can!


When: April 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Subterranean Coffee Boutique Hillcrest
412 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Book: Big Chicken, by Maryn McKenna
RSVP: Email Ariana Remmel

The first meeting of the new SANDSWA Book Club. We discussed Big Chicken by Maryn McKenna, winner of a 2018 Science in Society Journalism Award from the National Association of Science Writers. Big thanks to member Ariana Remmel for launching and hosting this new opportunity to learn and connect!

SANDSWA members-only event:
Tour the Research Vessel Sally Ride

When: March 14, 2019, 4:30-6:30pm

Where: 297 Rosecrans St
San Diego, CA 92106

SANDSWA members had an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the research vessel Sally Ride. Owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the ship has sailed on research missions to the Galapagos, the Gulf of Alaska, and beyond since its inaugural voyage in 2016. Researchers have used the vessel to study topics such as ocean floor geology, underwater acoustics, and climate change. The vessel is home in San Diego in March for maintenance and preparation for 2019 voyages to Sri Lanka, Guam, Taiwan, and Palau.

The tour was hosted by SANDSWA member Melissa Miller, who has traveled aboard the ship assisting with research projects and writing dispatches. Scripps communications staff were also on-hand to answer questions.

Read recap blog posts: Part I by Xochitl Rojas-Rocha, and Part II by Melissa Miller, who led the tour

SANDSWA at Why Storytelling Matters in science: A Talk by Ed Yong

When: February 21, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
Where: Scripps Research
Scripps Research Auditorium
10620 John J. Hopkins Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
Cost: Free

All SANDSWA members and non-members are invited to join us at this very special event. Science writer extraordinaire Ed Yong will be in San Diego, giving a talk at Scripps Research. RSVP for the Scripps event, then stick around afterward for an informal happy hour and meet-and-greet with Ed. Seats are filling up fast!

Read Recap

SANDSWA Evening at the Fleet

When: January 3, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park

A special SANDSWA members-only tour and talk with the Fleet‘s CEO and Marketing Director. We got the inside scoop on the museum’s public outreach efforts and what’s new for 2019.  Read the recap blog post by Xochitl Rojas-Rocha

SANDSWA Holiday Happy Hour

When: Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Where: AleSmith Brewing Company
9990 AleSmith Court (off Miramar Rd.)
San Diego, CA 92126
Cost: No entry fee, food and drink available for purchase

Inviting all SANDSWA members and non-members to a casual, no-host happy hour. Meet SANDSWA organizers, mingle with fellow science writers and expand your network. Feel free to bring a like-minded friend or colleague. This will be our last event of 2018!

ScienceWriters Meeting Re-Cap (Members Only)
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

Sad you missed ScienceWriters2018, the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW)? We brought the meeting to you! A few SANDSWA Board members who attended in Washington, D.C. on October 12-16 brought back lots of information, tips and insights into the field of science writing.  Browse our slides for insights on training researchers to communicate, creating science videos, making your writing more inclusive, and more.

Tour and Tasting at White Labs

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm
9495 Candida St.
$10 (non-refundable)

White Labs knows yeast, and we’re going to drop in, learn about their work and quaff a beer or two. You’ll still get the great SANDSWA camaraderie you know and love, plus more science.

White Labs

SANDSWA August Happy Hour

August 15, 2018: 5:30-7:30pm

Inviting all SANDSWA members and non-members to a casual, no-host happy hour. Meet SANDSWA organizers, mingle with fellow science writers and expand your network. Feel free to bring a like-minded friend or colleague. Hope to see you there!

Location: AleSmith Brewing Company

SANDSWA Kick-Off Happy Hour

July 11, 2018: 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Farmer & The Seahorse

More information

%d bloggers like this: