ScienceWriters 2019 to feature breadth of Penn State research, expertise

October 18, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From Oct. 25 to 29, Penn State will welcome more than 500 of the nation’s top science writers, reporters and editors to the University Park campus for ScienceWriters 2019, an annual meeting jointly held by the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Offering four days of workshops, panels, networking opportunities, scientific presentations on cutting-edge research and extensive access to Penn State’s world-class faculty and scientific facilities, ScienceWriters 2019 aims to serve as an enriching professional development experience for both new and seasoned science communication professionals.

Held at a different host institution each year, this year’s ScienceWriters conference will feature 13 of Penn State’s expert faculty members from eight different academic colleges as invited speakers, presenting on topics ranging from antibiotic resistance, food security and energy innovation to social media and “fake news.”

Penn State was selected as this year’s host institution for the University’s reputation as a top 25 research university with record-setting research expenditures, as well as Penn State’s commitment to community impact and its land-grant mission; its status as one of only two universities in the United States to hold Space Grant, Sun Grant and Sea Grant designation through the federal government; and its large number of world-renowned researchers and research facilities across academic disciplines. ScienceWriters 2019 is co-sponsored by Penn State’s Office of Strategic Communications and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, who worked together to bring the conference to campus.

“This conference is an opportunity to share the breadth and depth of Penn State’s faculty expertise and the research being undertaken at this institution to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems,” said Penn State Senior Vice President for Research Lora Weiss. “We are honored to welcome the nation’s leading science writers to our University. We embrace their efforts in developing effective and captivating approaches to communicating scientific research advances to the public and broader audiences whom we aim to serve.”

Penn State will also host 10 interactive “Lunch with a Scientist” sessions with faculty members from nine departments. Topics include using drones to explore Saturn’s moon, Titan; the connection between geosciences and art history; how nature can inspire engineering; using predictive modeling to map the spread of infectious diseases, and more.

Many of Penn State’s state-of-the-art research facilities will also be the subject of tours led by University faculty and staff, including the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility, rocket lab and nanofabrication laboratory.

Additional speakers include notable science writers, photographers and editors from news organizations such as NPR, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, as well as researchers and scientists from institutions including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, George Mason University and the University of California.

For more information and to see the conference schedule, visit

Last Updated October 25, 2019