ScienceWriters 2012

The members and employers of SCONC would like to welcome you to attend ScienceWriters 2012  in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. Please mark your calendar for Oct. 26-30 and plan to stay and extra day or two to take it all in.

Raleigh Skyline

Kudzu hasn't really eaten the South. It just looks that way when you get down low on the Raleigh skyline. (Photo by Suzie Tremmel from Flickr)

The Research Triangle is a community of nearly 2 million where the major industry is R&D. Consequently, there are a LOT of science writers around here! Our riches include two federal labs (EPA and NIEHS); three major research universities (DukeUNC-Chapel Hill and NC State); a non-profit research institution, RTI International, that is larger than most universities; and tons of private-sector R&D.

What’s the plan?

ScienceWriters 2012 will kick off with science-themed tours around the Triangle region on Friday, Oct. 26, and a welcoming reception at the RTP Foundation, headquarters of the world-famous Research Triangle Park.

Logo: Natalie Brown, NC State UniversityThe NASW Annual Meeting will be Saturday, Oct. 27, and the 50th meeting of the CASW New Horizons in Science will be Sunday and Monday. Both will be hosted at the Raleigh Convention Center. Our headquarters hotel will be the Marriott City Center, right across the street. You’ll  find yourself in the center of a fun and growingly funky downtown scene that you’re sure to enjoy.

We’ll do “Lunch With A Scientist” on Sunday with a quick trip to NC State University’s Centennial Campus for one-on-one sessions with some of the area’s leading researchers. We’ll be using classrooms, not a ballroom, so you really will be able to ask questions and hear the answers.

The NASW Science in Society Awards will be presented at a gala party Saturday night in the stunning new Nature Research Center science museum in downtown Raleigh.

Sunday night, don’t miss the SCONC Halloween Party at the Oxford Gastropub!  We’ll provide the food, drink and dancing, and the NC Museum of Life + Science will offer some spooky science surprises.  (Costumes encouraged, but be sure you’ve got a mask you can drink through.)

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, we’ll offer half-day tours around the Triangle or a choice of  two destination tours:

NC Research Campus

The David H. Murdock Research Institute is the core of the North Carolina Research Campus. (photo courtesy of Jim Hathaway, UNC-Charlotte)

A Tuesday day-trip to Kannapolis, NC, birthplace of Dale Earnhardt and the $500 million North Carolina Research Campus, dedicated to the life sciences. This former cotton mill town’s remarkable transformation is the result of one man’s vision and financing. (Read Frank Bruni’s NYT Sunday Magazine profile of Dole Foods owner David H. Murdock.)

Pirate Ship in Bogue Sound

We don't see many pirates in Beaufort anymore, but when we do, they're usually singing sea shanties as they pass. (Photo courtesy of Tawnee Milko, Duke University)

Or, perhaps you fancy a Tuesday overnight trip to beautiful Beaufort, NC. This part of the coast is home to the Duke Marine Lab, NC State’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences, and NOAA’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research. The Beaufort Inlet is also the final resting place of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. We’ll try to take a boat ride out to the site where she sank – maybe they’ll be pulling up a cannon that day.

(The Beaufort trip will charge a small fee to offset meals and transportation. Overnight lodging will be the guest’s responsibility at a discounted rate. We’ll return to downtown Raleigh and RDU airport by Noon on Wednesday, 10/31. )

The Research Triangle is 260 miles by car from DC, and the City Center Marriott is just three blocks from an Amtrak station. Our airport is RDU. Taking a side trip to the Smoky Mountains or the Outer Banks is an easy 3- to 4-hour drive from Raleigh. (That’s another reason we love it here!)

Please plan to join us. We really want you to see why we love communicating about science from this part of the world and we promise you’ll go home with notebooks full of story ideas and local contacts.

Registration will begin in August here:


PARTNER INSTITUTIONS providing speakers and tours for ScienceWriters 2012:

Burroughs Wellcome Fund –

Duke University –

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences / NIH –

North Carolina Central University –

North Carolina Sea Grant –

North Carolina State University –

Research Triangle Park –

RTI International –

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill –

University of North Carolina at Charlotte –

US EPA, Research Triangle Park –

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