Upcoming events

SANDSWA Exclusive Events


When: September 15, 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 23rd, 5:00pm
Where: Zoom Registration
With special guest Emily Anthes, an award-winning science journalist and author.

The Science of Cheese

When: Wednesday, October 7th, stay tuned for time and further details
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!

Panel: The Science of Plastics in our Oceans

When: Tuesday, November 10th, 5:00pm
Where: Virtual
Join local scientists Jennifer Brandon and Theresa Talley as they speak about their research examining the effects of plastics in our oceans. 

Around Virtual Town

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!

Virtual Classes & Workshops

September 25-26, 2020
Virtual San Diego Communicating Science Conference
ComSciCon-SD (for graduate students)

October 19-23, 2020
ScienceWriters2020 Virtual Conference
National Association of Science Writers (NASW)

Past Events

SANDSWA + SoCal Science Writers Virtual Happy Hour 

Tuesday, June 23 @ 5 p.m.

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

Members only:
Virtual SANDSWA Happy Hour

May 14, 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, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Google Meets Link or email Jeff Berkwits for a calendar invite at

What: Virtual Happy Hour
When: April 2, 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, 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

May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
SANDSWA Book Club: The Emperor of All Maladies
Cutwater Spirits

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

When: Friday, February 21, 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, 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
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, 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, 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
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, 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, 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, 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