Statement Regarding Tennessee Conference Location

Statement Regarding Tennessee Conference Location

We acknowledge that recent anti-health care and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Tennessee creates tension for many people considering travel — and we will continue to engage with these critical considerations as we consider future meeting locations.

Memphis is our in-person site for 2022 for two reasons. First, the choice of our conference venue is complicated by the long lead time required to plan our meetings, involving a deep, multi-year partnership with a host institution and local community. St. Jude was confirmed as our host years ahead of current events, in 2019. And second, at the time, NASW and CASW intentionally sought out Memphis for its historic heritage and living lessons in civil rights history — teachable moments and encounters that our professional community will benefit greatly from. The opportunity to explore the intersection of science and science writing with issues of racism, injustice, and inequality in a city where those issues are front and center was a major factor in the site decision. In sum, we believe that Memphis is an important place to face the past, the present, and our role in making a better world.

We recognize that two values are in conflict here: our journalistic tenet to bear witness, as well as our organization’s commitment to inclusion, health and safety. CASW and NASW remain committed to the health and safety of our attendees in regards to COVID-19 and reproductive health care. In addition to a robust vaccination and masking policy, we have adjusted the refund policy to cover any health-related cancellation up until the start of the in-person meeting. We thank those who have reached out to us with their concerns, and invite people to share their thoughts and suggestions for this and future ScienceWriters conferences. Please write to us via

Thank you,

The ScienceWriters2022 Steering Committee:

  • Jill Adams, NASW President
  • Amber Dance, New Horizons Program Director
  • Tinsley Davis, NASW Executive Director
  • Sylvia Kantor, CASW Administrator and Communications Manager
  • Ben Young Landis, NASW Assistant Executive Director
  • Robin Lloyd, CASW President
  • Ros Reid, CASW Executive Director
  • Dan Vergano, CASW Board Member
  • Cassandra Willyard, NASW Vice President and Programs Committee Chair