Connecting science communicators around Chicago



The Chicago Science Writers group provides a forum for people in the Chicago area who communicate science to the public. It organizes professional development programs and social gatherings. CSW provides a point of contact to national science organizations and local science groups interested in connecting with science writers in the Chicago area.



People eligible for membership include journalists, freelance writers, public information officers and others who bring the discoveries of science to a wide audience. Students interested in becoming science writers may also join.

Membership procedures

In order to join, people need to submit their names with annual dues payment of $10 electronically or to the Treasurer who may accept the application based on the membership criteria.

Dues, Calendar

The executive board may recommend annual dues based on a budget for the calendar year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. The budget and dues are approved by the membership as part of a regularly scheduled meeting of the group. That budget and dues structure is to be posted prior to the meeting and members notified via e­mail.

Membership, Calendar

CSW membership is based on the calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. Memberships are not pro­rated and expire December 31, no matter the date of joining. Lapsed members may renew at anytime within two years after the last renewal. After two years of non­renewal, a member must re­apply.

Executive Board 

Members: The Executive Board consists of a President, Vice­ President, Outreach Chair, Treasurer, Website Chair, Social Media Chair, Hospitality Chair, Communications Chair, Program Chair, Membership Chair and Board Member ­at­ Large.

Responsibilities of the Executive Board

● The Board meets at least once a year to organize the program for the following year.

● Board Chairs produce a Program Calendar year­ end report to be included in CSW annual report.

● The Board recommends dues to the membership, prepares a budget and establishes a bank account.

● The Board may appoint special committees as needed for individual projects.

Responsibilities of Officers

● The President arranges and chairs meetings of the Executive Board and works to set goals and implement strategic planning and fundraising initiatives. The President guides the strategic planning process by seeking out strategic relationships with individuals and organizations while coordinating the production of the yearly annual report.

● The Vice President is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Chicago Science Writers. The Vice President recruits CSW members as volunteers to support specific Chair­ led programs.

● The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the management and reporting of CSW finances.

● The Outreach Chair promotes CSW activities by creating relationships with Chicago area universities and other organizations interested in science. Coordinates nominating committee to recruit and nominate a slate of candidates for two­-year board positions to present to CSW membership for a vote.

● The Communications Chair prepares and sends out monthly email newsletter with event information, job listings, member stories, and other content as appropriate. Creates Eventbrite events for Chicago Science Writers programming and manages email invitations. Maintains email lists in both MailChimp and Eventbrite. Regularly checks and responds to or forwards incoming messages as appropriate. Takes minutes at board meetings.

● The Website Chair coordinates updates made to the Chicago Science Writers website and manages content.

● The Membership Chair maintains member records and processes renewals. Evaluates and sets goals for member retention and growth.

● The Social Media Chair promotes CSW programming and events by engaging with members online and posting their articles. The Chair posts videos or photos of events and programs. The Chair also helps to create strategic promotional relationships with other science and writing­-related organizations.

● The Program Chair is responsible for the organization, management and coordination of all CSW events. The Program Chair works with the Hospitality Chair to identify venues.

● The Hospitality Chair maintains Chicago ­area calendar of events and identifies locations for social and professional gatherings. The Hospitality Chair supports the Program Chair by coordinating member meals at CSW programs.

● The Member at Large assists in tasks not assigned to other board members.

∙ Terms of office: two years.

Membership responsibilities

● Members are responsible for approving the by­laws and any changes to the bylaws.

● Members may be asked to serve on special committees.

● Members are responsible for electing officers.

Approved 3-18-16

Last updated March 18, 2016.