ScienceWriters2022 is presented by the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing in collaboration with our local host, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who share a warm welcome to their city and institution below.

to Memphis

National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel

This storied river city has been at the crossroads of history, music, commerce and cuisine since 1819. The Memphis metropolitan area is home to more than 1.3 million people and such iconic institutions as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the National Civil Rights Museum, FedEx World headquarters, and Elvis Presley’s Graceland. There is also plenty of blues, brews and BBQ.

If music’s your thing, visit the clubs along Beale Street. The next morning, check out the Jungle Room at Graceland (the most visited private home in the US). Then head to Sun Studio, where Elvis made his first recording, or to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and others recorded.

If the Mississippi River beckons, take in the sunset on the Chickasaw Bluff while strolling the Riverbluff Walkway or enjoy an expansive view from the apex of the Pyramid, home of Bass Pro Shop. You can also take advantage of Big River Crossing, the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River, to walk, bike or run from downtown Memphis to Arkansas.

Make time for a personal visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in the former Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, and the site of the ScienceWriters2022 opening reception. The interactive exhibits trace the history of the civil rights movement and explore its impact today. For another take on the South, visit the Peabody Memphis, which opened a few years after the Civil War ended and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel’s resident ducks march through the lobby twice daily and spend their days swimming in the hotel fountain.

Don’t forget the food. The Bluff City offers dining options that range from world famous BBQ and hot chicken to elegant cuisine and soul food. Pack your stretchy pants.

and to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened its doors 60 years ago, founded on the belief that no child should die in the dawn of life.

St. Jude researchers at work

The hospital was unique from the start. St. Jude was the first fully integrated children's hospital in the South—and offered treatments to patients with cancer, sickle cell disease and other catastrophic illnesses at no cost.

The institution also perfected the bench-to-bedside model, intertwining basic science and clinical care to advance knowledge.

Thanks to these innovations made at St. Jude and elsewhere, an unprecedented number of  children with cancer and other devastating diseases survive and with fewer long-term complications.

Building on this momentum, St. Jude is expanding clinical care and scientific programs in Memphis and around the globe.

At the center of this growth is the hope that one day no family suffers the loss of a child to cancer or other catastrophic disease. Until then, our work continues—exploring the bounds of science, speeding lifesaving treatments and building a brighter future for children everywhere.

James R. Downing, M.D.
President and CEO
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital