Latest updates

11/14/07. We are now taking applications.

11/10/07. We've posted most of the new information for the 2008 workshop and hope to begin taking applications next week.

Last year's workshop:

5/10/07. A small change in the schedule: In place of Dan Rockmore, who will be unable to join us, Eric Smith will give a presentation at the Tuesday news conference (details to come).

5/2/07. We've posted the class list.

4/24/07. It appears likely now that we will have a couple of cancellations.

4/18/07. The workshop is full now but we're happy to take applications for the waiting list. We'll be posting the class schedule soon. Please remember the payment deadline of May 1.

4/12/07. Barring some cancellations, we have only one, maybe two more openings. We've responded to all the complete applications on file. If you applied but didn't hear from us, please get in touch by email.

4/2/07. We have lined up our second press conference speaker, Dan Rockmore of Dartmouth University, who will talk about using mathematics to identify art forgeries. You'll find some background material on his website.

3/15/07. We can take about six more people.

3/6/07. As of this morning, we're three-fourths full. Please remember that to hold your place, we need to receive a payment within 30 days of acceptance.

2/26/07. We've posted an early version of the daily schedule.

2/24/07. We're two-thirds full now.

2/14/07. We've responded to all the applications in hand. If you applied and haven't heard back, please send us an email so we can correct our mistake.

2/13/07. David Corcoran, deputy science editor of the New York Times, will be joining us to meet students and talk about how the paper reports and presents the news.

2/12/07. We're now about half full.

2/1/07. We've responded to the first batch of applications. If you've applied and haven't heard back, please let us know. We still have openings for all five instructors.

1/31/07. A message to our alumni. If you're planning to attend the Santa Fe Reunion at AAAS, on Sunday evening, February 18, please sign up by this Monday, February 5. For instructions follow the link above. We hope to see you there. (Thanks to San Franciscan Monya Baker, class of '05, for organizing this.)

1/28/07. An astute reader has noticed that our website still carried a confusing line suggesting that the 2007 application form had yet to be posted. Apologies for the error, which has been corrected. Please go to to apply.

1/26/07. We'll be sending out the first batch of acceptances by the end of January. Please remember to apply early if you want a particular instructor or a single room.

1/12/07. Another addition to the program: Michelle Nijhuis and Christie Aschwanden, two very successful independent science writers (and Santa Fe alumni), will conduct a session on freelancing. Michelle writes:

	Christie has been freelancing full-time for nearly ten
	years, and I for five (before that I was an editor for four
	years), so we're both excruciatingly familiar with the art
	and business of making a living as a freelancer. Between us,
	we've covered nearly every type of outlet one might hit as a
	science freelancer, from magazines to newspapers to science
	journals. We've experienced the highs and lows of
	freelancing and learned to carve out a nice living along the

12/11/06. We are pleased to announce that Peter Lewis from Fortune will be among our instructors. We'll start taking applications shortly . . .

11/29/06. We've posted the names of four of the instructors. As soon as we settle on the fifth, we will begin taking applications.

5/19/06. We look forward to seeing you all on Monday.

5/16/06. And please remember to read Shankar Vedantam's Washington Post magazine pieces, "See No Bias," on the science of prejudice, and "Eden and Evolution," on Intelligent Design. (We had links to these in the daily sked but not here in the updates.)

5/11/06. Some more homework: For George Johnson's talk on writing essays about science, please read the material at (These are pdf downloads.)

5/11/06. We have just confirmed that our friend Celia Lowenstein, a documentary filmmaker based in New York and London, will join us on Friday to discuss the making of "The Fish That Time Forget" (about the South African Coelacanth). It was "Americanized" for Nova -- Celia will explain -- as Ancient Creature of the Deep.

5/10/06. We've posted a pdf download of the paper that will be discussed on Tuesday at the Santa Fe Institute. Please read it in advance and bring along a copy.

5/10/06. We will be selling hats at the workshop with our new armadillo logo:

A few of the older hats with the Leonardo image will be available as well.

The price will be $15.

5/9/06. We have posted the class list. Compiling this is always the hardest part, with the Rubik-cubelike task of satisfying a web of conflicting constraints. We go primarily by your choices and the date you applied, but we also try to get a good balance within each group of freelancers, scientists, students, public information specialists, and none of the aboves. We hope everyone is satisfied with the outcome. Please remember that whichever group you have landed in, you will have plenty of opporunity to meet and talk with all the instructors.

4/26/06. We are awaiting a few remaining payments before posting the class list with instructor assignments. Please remember to pay your balance by May 1 for both lodging and tuition. You can do this online by credit card. If you will be mailing a check instead please email us so we will know. A few people staying offsite still need to remit the $150 commuter fee Ghost Ranch charges us. Sorry for the hectoring. We work on a slim margin and need to be sure we have a full house come May 22.

Meanwhile we can take a few more applications for the waiting list, with the expectation of some cancellations.

4/12/06. We have posted a preliminary schedule.

4/7/06. Please remember that the final payment deadline is May 1. We hope to post the daily schedule next week.

3/16/06. We have gone through all the applications -- 56 in total -- and sent responses (except for a handful that are missing the essay/personal statement). People can still apply for the waiting list. We almost always get a few cancellations in April.

3/7/06. We've sent responses to all the applications we have in hand. Please remember to make a payment within 30 days to hold your place in the workshop. We will be posting the daily schedule soon. (Starting and ending times will be the same as last year.)

3/2/06. We are going through the rest of the completed applications we have on hand. If you have not submitted your essay please do so soon.

2/17/06. We will be going through the first batch of 40 applications this weekend. There is still time to apply for the second round. Thanks for your patience.

2/7/06. We have now received 34 applications. We will begin going through this first batch next week. Please don't forget to submit your essay.

1/31/06. We have received 26 applications so far.

1/9/06. Thanks to everyone who has applied early. We have received about 16 applications so far. Please remember to apply in the next few weeks to be considered in the first round of the evaluations.

10/22/05. We have posted the names of the

10/31/05. We have begun accepting applications.instructors. As soon as we verify the lodging rates with Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, we will open for applications.

10/8/05. We are in the process of planning the 2006 workshop and hope to post the names of the instructors later this month. We will begin accepting applications in November. We appreciate your patience.

4/5/05. We are pleased to announce an addition to the program, a talk by the London-based documentary film maker Celia Lowenstein, whose works include Ancient Creature of the Deep for Nova. Details to come.

And here is a draft of the class list. Please let us know of any errors. (We're less interested in your official title than in a brief, intuitive description of what you do.)

4/1/05. More homework: For his presentation, "Writing Essays About Science," George Johnson will discuss these pieces:

A Really Long History of Time, New York Times Book Review, February 27, 2005.

Inside the Black Box, to appear in A Field Guide for Science Writers, Second Edition, 2005. (pdf download)

Worshipping in the Church of Einstein (or How I Found Fischbeck's Rule), published in the anthology Secrets of Angels and Demons, edited by Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer, December 2004. (pdf download)

4/1/05. We've filled in the last blank on the schedule: Geoffrey West, a particle physicist turned theoretical biologist, will lead a panel of colleagues in a discussion of the unusual kind of science that takes place at the Santa Fe Institute: physicists collaborate with biologists, economists, anthropologists, immunologists, and computer scientists in an attempt to recast problems that cut across academic boundaries. (West, for example, worked with biologists at UNM to devise a new model of the circulatory system.)

We urge you to prepare for the session, which will include, we hope, pointed questions from the audience, by exploring the Santa Fe Institute's web site, and reading some background material. For starters here are articles by two of the instructors:

Of Mice and Elephants: A Matter of Scale, New York Times, January 12, 1999.

Mindless Creatures, Acting Mindfully, New York Times, Janurary 12, 1999.

Computer 'Life Form' Mutates in an Evolution Experiment, New York Times, November 25, 1997.

Please poke around the Web for more. We'll also post additional material on the site.

3/31/05. We'll be posting the class list, with instructor assignments, by early next week. Meanwhile please remember that we need to receive payment to hold your place in the workshop.

3/10/05. We've received several cancellations and a few more applications. We will regroup next week and get back to everyone who is waiting for a response. Thank you again for your patience.

2/24/05. Just a reminder that to hold your place in the workshop, we will need to receive payment from you (or an email saying it is on the way) no later than 30 days after acceptance. Payment instructions are at And if you must cancel, please let us know right away so we can offer the spot to someone on the waiting list.

2/22/05. We've finished going through all the applications currently on hand. If you haven't heard from us, please let us know by email so we can figure out what went wrong.

We are keeping a few positions open for several more weeks to give us the flexibility to consider any new applications that might arrive. So if you haven't applied, there still is time.

In mid March, we'll reevaluate and see if we can accommodate some of the people on the waiting list. Inevitably there will be cancellations between now and then, so the prospects are pretty good.

Many thanks for your patience.

2/22/05. We've posted a preliminary schedule.

2/19/05. We're continuing to go through applications (we have fifty so far) and have sent out the first batch of acceptances. We plan to do more this weekend and early next week. It takes a while because we try to achieve as good a blend as possible of freelance writers and journalists, scientists edging into writing, staff writers who cover science for universities and research labs, and those who fall into a category of their own. Sometimes in an attempt to even out the mix, we have to put some perfectly good applications on the waiting list. We don't want to fill up too quickly and then have no room for a really stellar person who learns about the program later on. On the other hand, we need to fill enough spaces so the workshop will pay for itself. It's a tough balancing ask. Thanks for bearing with us.

2/11/05. Just a reminder that we are continuing to take applications. We'll be sending out the first acceptances by early next week.

2/10/05. We're very pleased that Denise Grady, the New York Times science writer known for her insightful articles on health and medicine, will be on the faculty.

2/10/05. This is to confirm that we must indeed move up the workshop to early May. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you all for your understanding. All the instructors except, alas, Robin Henig, were kindly able to accommodate us. We'll be naming a replacement shortly with hopes that Robin can join us next year.

2/9/05. We've sent an email to all of this year's applicants asking them to tell us whether moving the workshop up to May 2-7 would prohibit them from attending. We will make a final decision tomorrow.

2/8/05. Because of a scheduling conflict (one of us, George Johnson, just got a fellowship that requires him to be in Cambridge, England in June), we are considering moving up the workshop to early May. We hope this will not be a problem for the many people who have already applied. More details will be posted shortly.

2/2/05. There are 34 applicants so far. We won't begin going through the forms and essays until next week, so there is still time to get into the first batch. After that we will continue to take applications until the workshop is full.

1/26/05. We've received 25 applications so far. Please be sure to apply in the next week or so to be considered in the first round.

12/8/04. We've begun taking applications. Thanks for your patience.

12/4/04. We will begin taking applications as soon as we have decided on the final instructor. Please stay tuned. We should be ready sometime next week.