2011 Santa Fe Science-Writing Workshop

Monday, May 30

3 p.m. Begin checking in at Hotel St. Francis.

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registration packets will be available for pickup at a table in the lobby.

5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Reception (cash bar) in Garden Patio. (Participants only. Guests will be welcome at later events.)

6:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dinner in the De Vargas Room followed by introductions. Meet the students and instructors. (Participants only.)

Tuesday, May 31

7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Continental Breakfast at hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

8:30 a.m. Meet in hotel lobby for a ride to the Santa Fe Institute. Drivers, including commuters and instructors, are asked to help with the carpooling.

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Welcome by Jerry Sabloff, president of SFI.

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. "The Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing." By dissecting the current week's issue of Science Times, the instructors, joined by David Corcoran, the section's deputy editor, show how the pros turn science's discoveries into compelling, accurate stories.

10:45 a.m. to 12 noon. Presentation by Geoffrey West, Distinguished Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute.

12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Picnic lunch on the portal. Meet with your group for the first time and discuss the morning's presentation.

1:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presentation by Jon Wilkins, an evolutionary biologist and professor at the Institute.

(Students may use the talks as the basis for a writing assignment, which will be critiqued during the workshop sessions. See the FAQ for details.)

3:45 p.m. Return to hotel.

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Meet in the hotel conference room for more discussion about what we learned at SFI.

6 p.m. Explore the Plaza; forage for dinner.

Wednesday, June 1

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. De Vargas Room. "Behind the Scenes at the New York Times." David Corcoran describes how he and the staff go about finding, reporting, and presenting the week's science news, both on paper and online.

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Cornelia Dean. "When Being Objective Isn't Enough." Journalists are taught to tell both sides of the story. But sometimes, especially in science, the story doesn't have two sides of equal weight. How do you be fair without being misleading -- and lending credence to fringe points of view?

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. De Vargas Room. "The Cancer Chronicles." George Johnson gives listeners an hourlong peek over his shoulder as he shows how he is gathering and taming a glut of information about the science of cancer and turning it into his next book.

2:45 to 5 p.m. Workshop session. Students will break into groups and meet with their assigned instructor.

5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Public reading of works in progress by the instructors at Collected Works bookstore.

7:45 p.m. Explore the Plaza; forage for dinner.

Thursday, June 2

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. De Vargas Room. "Getting Edited." When you kick in that draft to the big, expensive magazine, your first thought should not be "Whew! Done!" The work is just beginning. Step by step, Adam Rogers walks people from the first iteration of a story pitch to the final proof.

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. "Reporting Science: A case study." What to ask, who to ask, and how? Gareth Cook will take us through the process of reporting a story about a Ukrainian stem cell clinic -- part of a series that earned him a Pulitzer prize -- and offer practical lessons you can use in your own work.

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. De Vargas Room. Workshop session. Meet with your instructor.

3 p.m. Meet in hotel lobby for an optional field trip to Bandelier National Monument. Guests are welcome. Bring sunscreen, hat, water, and (depending on the forecast) rain gear. (If you prefer to stay in town, you can walk to the Plaza and some nearby museums or explore Canyon Road and Santa Fe's historic Eastside.)

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Explore the ruins at Bandelier.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dinner at Cowgirl Hall of Fame. (Cash bar. Guests welcome.)

9:15 p.m. Return to hotel.

Friday June

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. De Vargas Room. Meet for the final time with your group.

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel (Tabla Restaurant).

1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. De Vargas Room. Freelancing workshop. Lynne Friedmann leads a discussion on how to survive and even prosper as a self-employed science writer, while our editors-in-residence -- Adam Rogers, Gareth Cook, and David Corcoran -- chime in.

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Instructors will be available to meet informally with students. Meanwhile relax and prepare for the week's big event.

5:30 p.m. Meet in hotel lobby for a ride to the barbecue. (Guests welcome.)

6 p.m. to whenever. Barbecue at Sandra Blakeslee's house. (The drinks are on us.)

Saturday, June 4

7:30 a.m. to 8:30.a.m. Breakfast at the hotel (Tabla Restaurant). Please check out before attending the final session. Luggage can be left at the front desk.

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. De Vargas Room. "Dueling Authors." Sandy Blakeslee describes her recent project -- working with two neuroscientists on a book about magic -- and considers the benefits and pitfalls of journalist-scientist collaborations.

11 a.m. to noon. Closing discussion and farewell.