Collaborative Workshop: Bridging the Space Between the Lab and the Press

Collaborative Workshop: Bridging the Space Between the Lab and the Press

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Members receive a discount for year-round events. For our first-ever workshop, members will receive a discount of 50%. Non-member price for the workshop is $40, but $20 for Practicing Professional, Associate, and Student Members. Sign-up to become a member ( before registering for the discount to be automatically applied to your shopping cart.



This inaugural full-day workshop featuring an expert panel and break-out sessions will explore spaces where scientists and science communicators interact, offering an unprecedented perspective into each others’ perception of popular science media coverage. Discussion results will be disseminated to the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) for use nationwide. Funding for the workshop was provided by a NASW Peggy Girshman Idea Grant.


Featuring panelists:

Dr. Susan Hovorka // Scientist

Dr. Susan Hovorka is a senior research scientist in the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin studying how to reduce green house emissions by geologic carbon sequestration. Hovorka also helps facilitate communication between scientists and the  public, focusing on pre-college students and teachers, particularly regarding energy security and climate mitigation technology.


Dr. Juli Berwald // Science Writer

Dr. Juli Berwald is an ocean scientist and science writer who has written for outlets such as National Geographic magazine, Discover magazine,, The Huffington Post, Slate, and several other popular science outlets. By combining science and memoir, Berwald told her story of the thread of science throughout her life in her recently published book, Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone.


Marc Airhart // Moderator

Mar Airhart has more than 15 years of experience as a science communicator. He is currently a communications coordinator and science writer embedded in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the contact point between many writers, journalists, and news outlets and the scientific research that goes on at the university. He produces the Point of Discovery Podcast.


Collaborative discussion and breakout sessions

Breakout sessions will cover topics such as navigating pre-publication embargoes; reporting on unpublished research with grace; common, yet unexpected questions during a reporter’s interview; how sources can review articles before publication without sacrificing reporting integrity; and tips about how scientists can best pitch their research to the media.


The goal is to explore and elaborate on issues that affect both scientists and writers at the intersection of popular media. Groups will discuss topics relating to popular science coverage and create guides to navigating a sometimes complex space, incorporating the perspectives of scientists and writers. ATXSciWri directors will polish and deliver results to the nation’s largest association for science writers, the National Association of Science Writers, with the opportunity for science writers and communication-savvy scientists nationwide to adapt those results.


Refreshments and lunch provided!




Science communicators meetup at The Jackalope

Science communicators meetup at The Jackalope

Want to hobnob w/ fellow science communicators who live in Central Texas? Or, are you in town for ONA18? Either way, you’re welcome to attend our meetup at The Jackalope downtown. (We’ll probably be decamped inside, escaping the Texas heat.)


ONA18 is in Austin this year and runs Sept 13-15

The Online News Association is an annual conference and networking event focused on the latest trends and best practices in digital media by bringing together the best and the brightest in online journalism to share innovative ideas for the future newsroom to keep ahead of the curve.

Find more about ONA at



Mid-morning meetup/coworking

Mid-morning meetup/coworking

Come co-work w/ fellow science writers/communicators at Opa’s on South Lamar. New to coworking? Basically, plan for some light human interaction while working on a project that doesn’t need your intense concentration. (Example: I have to create a email newsletter every Friday that I can basically do in my sleep, so that’s what I’m slotting my time for.) Also, buy some food or drinks to support Opa. I’ll either be inside at the back of Opa’s or out on the front patio, depending on weather/head count. Opa!

August ATXSciWri Happy Hour

August ATXSciWri Happy Hour

Join ATXSciWri for its second happy hour to chat about science communication. Stop by Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches in East Austin on Thursday August 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 and learn about plans for our fall workshop, book club, field trips, and co-work hours. Become a stakeholder in your local scicomm community and help us ramp up science communication in Central Texas! More info at

Batch is on Manor, a block East of Airport Blvd on Austin’s East side. The cafe has craft beer and cider on tap, wine, and an espresso bar, in addition to a few hundred bottled beers in their cooler. Before 7:00, the corkage fee for those bottled beers is waived (it’s usually $2). For snacks, they have kolaches and salads. And on Thursday nights, Batch has a jazz band starting at 8:00, if you want to hang around after the ATXSciWri meet-up for live music.


See other interested attendees on our Facebook event:


July Happy Hour

July Happy Hour

Join ATXSciWri to chat about science communication at our inaugural happy hour. Come and learn about plans for our fall workshop, book club, field trips, and writing cafes. Become a stakeholder in your local scicomm community and help us ramp up science communication in Central Texas!

Bar Scrawl

Bar Scrawl

*****ON PAUSE*****

Every other Thursday through May 2018

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Wax nonfiction literary and libations in a regular series of Bar Scrawls hosted by Austin Texas Science Writers (@ATXSciWri). The Bar Scrawl time has been shifted up so we are not distracted by the rad wrestling practice of Party World Rasslin’ (PWR).

Meet other science writers and work on anything that you’ve been putting off, needed that little extra motivation on, or just needed to write in the presence of other living, breathing humans.

4th Tap Brewing Co-Op
10615 Metric Blvd Austin, TX, 78758
4th Tap is open 4 to 12 on Thursdays


Meet Vector—a Zine About Science and Society

Meet Vector—a Zine About Science and Society

Meet Vector—a Zine About Science and Society

By Monica Kortsha



Science often starts in a lab, but it rarely stays there.


I started the zine Vector to provide a platform for people to explore how science works its way through society at every level. It’s not a publication dedicated to promoting STEM per se or for announcing new discoveries. Instead, the zine is about recognizing that humans have biases and egos, ethics and morals, weird habits and senses of humor that influence how science is interpreted and applied.


The name Vector is meant to highlight that point. In biology, a vector is a vehicle, the means by which infections are spread or DNA inserted into a transgenic organism. In physics, it’s any value with a magnitude and direction. We want Vector to cover the impacts of science spreading through the world.



The zine is managed by myself and two other editors, Diego Cruz and Madeline Detelich. I work as a science writer for The University of Texas at Austin. Maddy works in water quality for the state and Diego works in publishing. We came together to create the zine out of a shared curiosity in science and technology. We were also all annoyed at a style of science communication that treats science like a magic show— a spectacle meant to delight and entertain with its amazingness—rather than a process that can impact the world in multitude of ways depending on who is encountering it, why and under what circumstances (looking at you IFL Science).


Each issue of Vector is organized around a particular scientific topic. We took a leaf from the likes of Nautilus, The Point and Lapham’s Quarterly, preferring to take a deep dive into one topic. Like these other publications, we also publish in print. We do that in part because we think print encourages people to spend more time with the material than they would online. It also helps us fit into larger zine culture that values self-produced print media and the culture of swapping, selling and sharing zines between producers.



Our first issue focused on GMOs and was published in fall 2016. It includes a comic presenting the history of genetic modification, an interview with a corn and soybean farmer about his GMO crops, and an essay on how a Supreme Court ruling impacts gene patents, among other pieces. We hope to continue to feature a similar array of work and perspectives in our upcoming second issue.  The theme for this one is Truth and we’re planning on going to print in the late summer or early fall of 2018.


The primary goal for Vector now is growth in awareness and contributors. Most people who know about the zine found out about it directly from me or the other editors. We want Vector to be a place for all sorts of media and perspectives on science and technology, including all sorts of writers.


So if you’re a new writer who wants to try out their craft, or a seasoned practitioner looking to hash out ideas before sending them to larger publications, we would love to hear from you. In addition, if you’re interested in helping in other ways, from writing blog posts on our website, getting the word out or helping organize an event, please let me know.


Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in a free copy of our first issue, send me an email at and I’d be happy to provide it.

Founder Madeline and founder-author Monica at the Houston Zine Fest in the fall of 2016
Founder and editor, Deigo, at the Lone Star Zine Fest last spring











Monica Kortsha is founder and editor of the zine Vector and science writer at the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences. She attended one of the ATXSciWri Bar Scrawls to share the zine, invite writers, and share the significance of creating a personally-crafted, small batch zine filled with locally-sourced content without the pressure of economic-drivers—just pure knowledge and creativity.


Austin Texas Science Writers (ATXSciWri) is officially formed!

Austin Texas Science Writers (ATXSciWri) is officially formed!

On December 14, 2017, Austin Texas Science Writers became officially recognized by the Secretary of State of Texas as a nonprofit corporation.

Our official purpose as stated in our bylaws are as follows:

• To promote accurate, accessible and ethical science writing in Central Texas;
• To foster the understanding of science and technology and their relevance to society;
• To advance the skills of area science writers and aspiring science writers; and
• To provide both expert-driven and grassroots exchanges of ideas on science communication.

The initial board of directors consists of Laurie Duncan, Julie Grisham, Liz Kruesi, Emily Moskal, and Stavana Strutz.

Austin Texas Science Writers is a membership-based organization that actively supports the field of science writing and the public’s understanding of science, particularly in Texas.