Science in Action, July 23 – 30, 2017

Science Writing Science in Action Residency

Meet scientists doing forefront research at federal labs and learn reporting skills from journalists who cover them – at our Baltimore/D.C. residency.

With its wealth of federal research labs and powerhouse academic research institutions, the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region is a thriving hub of scientific research. The Science in Action residency course will take advantage of this geographic location to connect students to a broad range of vanguard research. From a home base at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus in Baltimore, students will visit labs and meet with scientists at government science institutions as well as leading Johns Hopkins research centers. Possible field trips include a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a visit to a whooping crane research project at a federal wildlife research center. Back on campus, discussions will focus on developing writing ideas, reporting skills, and the craft of explanatory writing. Guest speakers and panelists with extensive science journalism experience will discuss ongoing and newer reporting challenges, such as gaining access to government sources, checking facts, and covering contentious science issues, and will offer strategies for success.

Science in Action fulfills the residency requirement for the Hopkins M.A. in Science Writing. Students receive full graduate credit and pay the regular 2017-18 tuition for the course, plus an academic fee and a housing/food/facilities charge for events, some meals, and seven nights lodging in a private dorm room. Information on rates, lodging, and other details can be found below.

Registration is now open. The preferred registration deadline is February 7; students may register after that date if space is available. Students may take a second summer course, in addition to the conference; full-semester Science Writing courses will allow makeup work for any absences caused by the one-week conference course.

Alumni and outside applicants may attend the residency on a non-credit basis, for half the regular graduate tuition and a reduced academic fee. Alumni and others interested in the conference should email for more information and registration details.

Registration, Cost and Other Details

The cost for this year’s conference is the regular Summer 2017 Johns Hopkins MA in Writing / MA in Science Writing tuition rate of $2918 (plus a possible increase of as much as $146), plus a course academic fee of $275. Participants also pay a Room/Board/Events charge of $575, which includes seven nights in a single dorm room, shared bath, breakfast and some other meals, and various events. Students who will provide their own lodging pay a Board/Events charge of $225. Attendees pay their own travel costs to and from Baltimore, plus other meals beyond those specified in the week’s schedule.

Students who need graduate credit should register for 491.709 Science in Action. The non-credit section, 491.709.94 is for alumni, outside applicants, and others who do not need graduate credit.

Families and friends of attendees may stay in the dorm and attend selected events. Guests pay a room/board/activities fee of $450.
The academic fee and room/board charges are non-refundable after February 7.

Costs / Graduate Credit
Tuition $2918 (2017-18 regular tuition rate)*
Course Fee $275
Room/Board/Events Charge $575 (includes 7 nights dorm room / shared bath, plus events, some meals, etc.)
Total $3768


Costs/ Non-Credit for Alumni, Others
Tuition $1459
Course Fee $175
Room/Board/Events Charge $575 (includes 7 nights dorm room / shared bath, plus events, some meals, etc.)
Total $2009

* Tentative tuition rate. Johns Hopkins may announce a tuition increase for 2017-18 of as much as $146.

How to Register or Apply

Current Science Writing Program students seeking full course credit should register in the usual online manner, using the JHU SIS registration system. The course number is AS.491.709.91.

Alumni or others not seeking credit should email for details on registration. Alumni who still have a JHED ID may register through SIS. The non-credit course number is AS.491.709.94.

Travel to Baltimore and the Hopkins Campus

The Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is a 30-minute drive from the Hopkins Homewood campus. Penn Station/Amtrak is 2 miles from campus. A discounted parking rate may be available for students who choose to drive. Further information about carpools and other travel details will be provided to course participants.

Location and Schedule

Science in Action will be based at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus in Baltimore. An opening reception, meetings with guest speakers, and some other events will be held in locations at Homewood. On most days, students will take field trips to off-campus sites in the Baltimore/D.C. area.

Students should plan on arriving on campus in time for an opening reception and class session at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 23. Checkout will be Sunday, June 30, by 10 a.m., with all conference courses and events concluding at a closing reception and ceremony on the evening of Saturday, June 29. Generally, the conference will follow a 9-5 schedule, with breaks for meals, personal writing time, and other activities. Besides the opening and closing events, the conference plans several evening activities. Other group activities will be planned informally.

Low-cost dormitory lodging will be provided in the Charles Commons. The dorm is air-conditioned, has a fitness room, and is within a few blocks of several restaurants, cafés, a bookstore, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

For additional information


Image Credits:

NOAA, NASA; Peter and Ryan Allen; courtesy of professor Federico Capasso, SEAS/Harvard University, copyright Harvard University; Scott Bauer, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Jun Ye group and Steve Burrows/JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology.