Science and Health Writing Opportunities in the Age of Covid-19 and Beyond

February 15, 2023, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm ET

Journalism, Pitching, Researching & Interviewing

Please join us Wednesday February 15, 1 -2:30 pm EST for an ASJA webinar on  Science and Health Writing Opportunities in the Age of Covid-19 and Beyond.  We feature three phenomenally accomplished guests:  Tara Haelle, a TEDx Talk expert on vaccines and vaccine refusal whose work has appeared in NPR, The New York Times, Scientific American, National Geographic, O magazine, and many others; Patchen Barss, a Toronto-based journalist who contributes to BBC Future, Nautilus Magazine, and Scientific American, creates science content for museums around the world, and writes science books for adults and children; and Kelly McSweeney, a science writer who produces video scripts, content marketing, and webinars on subjects ranging from biotechnology to quantum mechanics.

Join us for a wide ranging discussion on how to break into these science markets and how to cultivate “the big get” in breaking science and health stories.


Patchen Barss (he/him) is a Toronto-based science journalist and author, currently writing a book about the life and work of British Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose. This biography will be published in 2024 by Atlantic Books in the UK, and Basic Books most other places. He was the 2021-2022 Sloan Biography Fellow at CUNY’s Graduate Center.

He is the author of the illustrated children’s book Flow Spin Grow: Looking for Patterns in Nature (OwlKids Books, 2018) and the not-a-children’s book The Erotic Engine: How Pornography Powered Mass Communications, from Gutenberg to Google (Random House, 2010). Barss has also worked to develop major museums and exhibitions around the world, producing events, building media partnerships, and training scientists in public speaking and writing.


Tara Haelle is an independent science/health journalist, author, professional speaker, and photographer. With two decades of reporting experience under her belt, her work has appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, Texas Monthly, NPR, Washington Post, Scientific American, Politico, Parents, Self, O Magazine, and Wired, among others. Her trade work covering medical research and medical conferences has appeared in MDEdge, Medscape/WebMD, and Haymarket titles.

A former Forbes contributor, Tara is now a regular weekly contributor at Medium and blogs at the Association of Health Journalists, where she is the Medical Studies Core Topic Leader, providing resources and giving talks on responsible journalistic coverage of medical research. Her monthly blog at Science & the Sea, from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, highlights short stories about marine life.


Kelly McSweeney writes video scripts, moderates webinars, and does traditional content marketing, such as writing white papers and articles. She uses accessible language to explain cutting-edge science and emerging technology to her clients’ targeted audiences. Through interviews, research, and creative storytelling, Kelly helps people get excited about complicated concepts like astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and biotechnology. She also coaches youth soccer and enjoys snowboarding with her family. [hello@kellymcsweeney.com]