Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is WCSJ2017?

WCSJ2017 will be held in San Francisco, California, October 26-30, 2017. The main hotel and conference venue will be the Marriott Marquis in downtown San Francisco. Discounted hotel rooms are available to attendees.

Who is eligible to attend WCSJ2017?

Anyone who writes, edits, or produces science news, information, or commentary for the public; teaches science journalism; or is a member of a WFSJ member association is invited to register.

Can I bring a guest or child?

Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to offer registration for your guest at receptions or other events. All attendees must be registered and must be 18 or older. Children and infants are not permitted at conference events. The Marriott Marquis can assist with childcare arrangements, and a lactation room will be available on request for conference attendees not staying at the Marriott. To request access, visit the conference information desk. Please note that the lactation room does not have a refrigerator. For information about lactation access on campus, please visit the campus information desks when you arrive.

What is the cost of registration?

Discounted registration is available for members of WFSJ-affiliated associations. For a full list of fees and registration instructions, visit the Register page. Registration opened on May 1 and closes on October 12 or earlier, if capacity is reached. The early registration discount ends on August 1. Register early for your choice of field trips and other events.

How can I get conference updates?

We invite you to sign up for email updates.

Will you offer travel fellowships to WCSJ2017?

Yes, but the application deadline for travel fellowships has passed and awards already made. Some WFSJ member associations will offer travel fellowships for their members. Please check with your member association for more information.

Will the U.S. immigration situation affect my travels?

The organizers of the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists are monitoring developments in U.S. immigration policy and assessing how new regulations and legal action might affect travel to the meeting, scheduled for October 26-30, 2017, in San Francisco. We are resolute in our determination that the conference will continue its tradition of welcoming colleagues from across the globe, and we oppose any restrictions that would prevent participants from attending WCSJ2017.

As October approaches, we will do everything we can to make the meeting accessible to all. We suggest that those planning to attend check with the U.S. consulates in their countries about applying for a U.S. visa as early as possible, and stay current on the travel situation. The organizing committee has arrangements in place for assistance with visa denials.

For current information on the visa process, please see this overview from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

How can I get a letter of invitation for my visa application?

Attendees from non-visa waiver countries may request a general letter of invitation from WCSJ2017 during the online conference registration process. Issued electronically as a PDF and general in nature, this letter may take up to two weeks to receive. Please plan ahead. See the Travel page for more info.

Is it too late to propose a session?

Yes. The Program Committee received more than 300 session proposals last fall. It promises to be a great program.

Whom can I contact with specific questions about accessibility or accommodation requests?

The main conference location, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis is an ADA compliant and accessible venue. With the exception of certain field trips that require walking (these are noted in the registration system), conference events are in accessible venues. Please write access@wcsj2017.org to request specific accommodations and with any questions. Please let us know your needs ahead of time so that we may be of assistance.

Will there be a ScienceWriters2017 conference, too?

The World Conference of Science Journalists will take the place of NASW and CASW’s joint ScienceWriters meeting in 2017. WCSJ is the biennial meeting of the World Federation of Science Journalists, of which NASW is a member association, and all NASW members are welcome to attend.

How will the World Conference of Science Journalists be different from an annual ScienceWriters meeting?

Hosting the World Federation of Science Journalists’ biennial meeting means that we are bringing 1,200+ international science journalists together in San Francisco. Instead of traveling to another country to experience the unique perspectives of peers from other parts of the world, NASW members will have the opportunity to share with and learn from the global community right in our backyard.

NASW members and non-members alike are welcome and encouraged to attend WCSJ2017. The conference itself will be longer than a ScienceWriters meeting and will include an expanded but familiar mix of professional development craft sessions, an “international edition” of the New Horizons in Science program organized by CASW, tours, field trips, and many networking opportunities. UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley will serve as host universities and invite attendees to their campuses on October 29. See the preliminary schedule to learn more.

Will the WCSJ2017 meeting be useful for public information officers?

Yes! Many of the sessions will focus on questions of craft and science communication issues that should be useful to all science writers. Because this meeting is international, and science information is disseminated in ways that vary from country to country, there may be fewer sessions targeted primarily at U.S. PIOs than are offered at NASW/CASW ScienceWriters meetings. But there will be much to learn about global challenges and issues for science writers and how norms, policies, and practices differ around the world.