2015 Santa Fe Science-Writing Workshop

updated May 5, 2015.

Monday, May 11

3 p.m. Begin checking in at Inn of the Governors.

4:45 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). (Participants only. Guests will be welcome at later events.)

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

Tuesday, May 12

6:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.

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, David Corcoran, editor emeritus of the section, leads a discussion on how to turn science's discoveries into compelling, accurate stories.

10:45 a.m. to 12 noon. Presentation by Omidyar fellow Sam Scarpino: modeling ebola and other epidemics.

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

1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Presentation by SFI Professor Mirta Galesic: how the mind interacts with the outside world to shape our judgements of other people.

(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.)

3:15 p.m. Return to hotel.

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

5:30 p.m. Explore the Plaza; forage for dinner.

Wednesday, May 13

6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. "Inside the New York Times." David Corcoran describes how the paper goes about finding, reporting, and presenting the week's science news, both on paper and online.

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. "Hormones and Their Discontents." Pam Belluck on lessons learned from reporting on reproductive health and sex -- issues that range from the profoundly serious to the absurdly amusing, where science often intersects with lifestyle, relationships, and politics.

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel.

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. "Raw Data." George Johnson tells how he wrote the three New York Times essays that won him the 2014 AAAS Science Journalism Award: "An Apple a Day and Other Myths," "A Tumor: The Embryo's Evil Twin," and "Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer." (The stories are available on the Times website.)

2:45 to 5:15 p.m. Workshop session. Students will break into groups and meet with their assigned instructor.

6:00 p.m. Gather in the Kiva room for a book reading by the instructors. You can order a drink from a cocktail waitress. (Collected Works bookstore will have books on sale.)

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reading and book signing.

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

Thursday, May 14

6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel.

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. "The Painful Birth and Awkward Adolescence of a Winner." Wired editor Adam Rogers lays bare the story (gory details and all) of a feature that went on to win a major prize.

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. "Behind the Scenes of the New Space Race." Alan Boyle talks about his 15 years of covering the commercial space industry -- and particularly about the rise of SpaceShipTwo and its tragic fall. We'll talk about how to deal with hype vs. reality on the technological frontier; how to get up to speed on technical subjects (like, um, rocket science); and how to handle the issues that arise when covering a story that involves the promise of behind-the-scene access.

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel.

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 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 nearby museums or explore Canyon Road and Santa Fe's historic Eastside.)

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Explore the ruins at Bandelier.

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Tomasita's Restaurant in the Railyard. (Cash bar. Guests welcome.)

9:15 p.m. Return to hotel.

Friday May 15

6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hotel.

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

12 noon to 1 p.m. Lunch at the hotel.

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Two science journalists will join us to talk about their careers: Rhitu Chatterjee, a contributing correspondent for Public Radio International's The World, and Christie Aschwanden, the lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight and a health columnist for The Washington Post. Both are currently journalism fellows at the Santa Fe Institute.

3:45 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, May 16

6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at the hotel. Please check out before attending the final session. Luggage can be left at the front desk.

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sandra Blakeslee. "Dueling Authors." Sandy Blakeslee describes a recent project -- working with a biologist on a book about the microbiome -- and considers the benefits and pitfalls of journalist-scientist collaborations.

10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Closing discussion and farewell.