silhouette of a hand dropping a ballot card into a box

We have a full slate of ten fine candidates for nine positions on the board. Please take the time to read their statements below and then cast your ballot.


Voting is open to all current members beginning on December 27. The ballot must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12. Results of the election will be tallied by outgoing president Ashley Braun and announced at NSWA’s Annual Meeting and Holiday Party in mid-to-late January.

Need to renew your NSWA membership? Renew now.


Candidates for President:

Ellen Kuwana

This year marks 10 years as a member. I’ve been secretary and VP, and I’m interested in being president in 2022. I have strong connections to the Seattle research community: I worked at University of Washington for 14 years, Seattle Children’s for 7, and was executive director of a national nonprofit with >300 members. Most recently, I was director of medical and scientific communications for a strategic communications agency.

I want to continue NSWA’s initiatives to strengthen connections with other organizations and offer
programs that help early-career and student members (I was a member of the mentoring committee). I have lots of ideas for events!

Past NSWA involvement:

  • Represented NSWA at the National Association of Science Writers Regional Congress of Science
    Writing Groups for the past 4 years; I co-led the Congress for the last 2 years.
  • Lead organizer for sold-out April 2017 regional workshop in Seattle, Compelling Science
    Storytelling. I secured sponsors, negotiated contracts, and handled the $26,000 budget.
  • Secured Seattle Children’s Research Institute as host of an NSWA party.
  • Helped secure $25,000 sponsor for AAAS/NSWA party Feb 2020.

I have a master’s degree from UCSF and 20+ years of research and science communications experience, with expertise in inclusive and plain language. I now freelance full time, mostly editing for scientific journals and the National Academies.

My strengths are organizing events and raising money. In response to the pandemic, I started WeGotThisSeattle: I’ve fundraised >$100,000, helped 130 restaurants stay in business, and fed >52,000 essential workers.

Candidates for Vice President:

James Gaines

I’d like to run for the role of vice president at NSWA. I’ve been a part of NSWA since 2017 and part of the board since 2020. In the past I’ve helped set-up several events and programs, including a panel on the craft of fact-checking, several online trivia nights, and the 2021 mentorship program. This last year I was also secretary for the organization. This coming year, I’d love to continue doing what I’ve been doing, but as VP I’d also like to explore a few other things that speak to NSWA’s mission and operations, like what more we can do as an organization to help foster connections between people outside of big events, enable folks to collaborate with each other, chase pet projects, or learn new skills like photography. I’d also like to do a bit of back-end work smoothing out operations. As for my professional chops, I’m a freelance science journalist and fact-checker living in Seattle, Washington — my work, in various forms, has appeared in outlets such as Undark, SciShow, Knowable Magazine, Gimlet’s How to Save a Planet Podcast, and more.

Candidates for Treasurer:

Chris Tachibana

I’m the senior managing editor of the journal Health Services Research and a science writer and editor at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. My freelance writing and editing clients include Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Copenhagen. I’m a 2021 NSWA board member and before that, I posted on the Member Writing page of our website.

I’ve enjoyed my year on the NSWA board and I’m eager to contribute again, now that I know the ropes a little better. I’m looking forward to following through on ideas the 2021 board has about events for fun, networking, and professional development. As a 2022 board member and treasurer, my goal will be providing a quality experience for NSWA members. I’ll work to ensure that NSWA supports our members in promoting science and science communication locally, nationally, and globally.

Candidates for Secretary:

Mara Grunbaum

I’m a freelance science writer and editor who covers life sciences, nature, and wildlife for both children and adults. My work has appeared in outlets including Slate, Hakai, UCSF Magazine, the New York Times for Kids, and Scholastic magazines.

I joined NSWA in 2018 after moving home to Seattle and starting out as a professional freelancer after many years on staff at Scholastic. I’ve been grateful for the community, connections, and resources NSWA provides, which were particularly crucial to me that first year.

During my first year on the board, I’ve enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues to plan events, judge the Best of the Northwest Science Writing Awards, launch a new showcase for our members’ multimedia work, distribute career development grants, and administer the popular mentorship and accountability program. I’m gratified to know that these programs have helped members hone their skills, make career moves, and stay connected to each other during a trying and isolating time.

Next year, I hope to help carry on the mentorship program, create a Best of the Northwest Awards category for multimedia, and plan events including a panel discussion on the role of humor in fighting misinformation. I also look forward to using the organizational tactics I’ve developed as a freelancer to our members’ benefit by serving as secretary of the board.

Candidates for At-Large Board Members:

Michael Bradbury

I’m a longtime NSWA member and former board member who helped grow the membership and expand monthly programming during my previous six-year tenure. I am proud to have been a board member when NSWA was small and scrappy, and helping establish some traditions that continue today.

I’m currently a freelance science writer and editor for clients like Anthropocene Magazine and South Seattle Emerald, as well as a marketing consultant for several book authors. I discovered NSWA many years ago, as I tried to break into science writing. Through the many friends and colleagues I’ve worked with over the years, NSWA helped me establish myself as a freelance science writer, working for Seattle TimesWiredNational JournalScience World, and many other publications. It also helped me hone my craft, understand the business of freelancing, and become a science media entrepreneur when I founded REALscience, a podcast and science news site.

I’m eager to rejoin the board to focus on mentorship. I’ve been a science journalist for almost 20 years and thoroughly enjoy opportunities to share my experience and knowledge with those just starting out or those who are shifting into a new role mid-career. I have worked across all media – including newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, podcasts, and social media – and bring a multimedia perspective to the board.

I will use my time on the 2022 board to help support the needs of the membership as we navigate the business and craft of science writing across a rapidly changing journalistic landscape.

KC Cole

I’m new to Seattle, but an old hand at science writing, currently Wired Magazine’s senior senior correspondent. NWSA is also new to me, but I’m delighted to find such an innovative group of people, appreciate the focus on diversity, and so was game when it was suggested I run for the board.

I spent a lot of the past 30 years putting on art/science/politics/whatnot events in New York, Santa Monica and even the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. My “Categorically Not!” series threw together scientists, comics, dancers, politicos for spontaneous mash-ups that proved entertaining and enlightening. It would be fun to bring some of that to Seattle.

I’ve been an editor at Discover, written for most major papers (NYTimes, LATimes, WaPo, Newsday) and magazines (New Yorker, NYTimes magazine, Quanta, Nautilus, Ms., Newsweek, even People.) I’ve done radio commentaries for NPR and taught science writing, science and art, science and society, at USC, Wesleyan, Yale; starting this winter, I’m teaching Science and Human Values at UW’s Honors College. I’ve published 8 books including The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty.

My first NWSA event–our comedy game show–made me realize they (you) are kindred spirits. I like the partnerships, and would like to expand: e.g. the current president of the National Society of Black Physicists is an old friend and terrific science writer, so maybe there’s potential there. I owe a lot to my mentors in this field, and like to give back.

Ian Haydon

I was once a practicing scientist but am now a Senior Public Information Specialist at the University of Washington Institute for Protein Design where I help biotechnology nerds share their academic research with reporters, donors, and the public at large. My job duties range from writing press releases that have generated coverage in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and beyond, as well as producing educational videos, writing speeches, and managing social media accounts.

I feel I owe a lot to NSWA. In 2017 I received a career development award from the organization that allowed me to attend the World Conference of Science Journalists. From there I began freelancing in earnest as a graduate student and soon received an AAAS Mass Media Fellowship. Those experiences gave me the confidence to step away from the laboratory and chart a new path for my career.

As a member of the NSWA board, I would work to sustain this important local institution. I believe NSWA serves many vital roles, including for early-career writers such as myself. Helping newcomers would be a particular interest of mine, as would throwing COVID-safe events that offer all members a chance to connect.

David Mills

I am the Artistic Director of Infinity Box Theatre Project. Theater is the means I use to explore science and I enjoy bringing science people and theater people together to be creative and enjoy each other’s company. I first became involved with NSWA after inviting several members to come and play with one of our projects, Centrifuge. One thing lead to another and I joined the board last year.

Theater is hard, especially during a pandemic, but we continue working on several “theater-like” events. The most fun this year was pulling together a joint NSWA/ Infinity Box event called “Matters of Gravity,” the NPR-style gameshow that we live streamed from Peddler Brewing Co. It was well received – and everyone who participated had a good time. I am looking forward to more cross-over events in 2022.

Beyond continuing my science/theater mission, it has been wonderful to be able to contribute something to the more general work it takes to keep NSWA running as smoothly as it does. I look forward to another year of serving on the board – and to seeing what NSWA has in store another in what we hope is the exciting year ahead.

Jenny Morber

I am a freelance science journalist on Bainbridge Island who writes about health, environment, science policy, mathematics, and all things weird. Before my freelance career, I earned BS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on building tools to enable localized cancer therapies, and later worked as a staff writer for the journal PNAS in Washington DC.

When I moved to the PNW, I was thrilled to find the local NSWA community. My first event was a perfect introduction—a tour of the science and history of Seattle—and I was happy to find a fascinating and inviting group of people. It has always been a welcome respite to travel across the Puget Sound (or now by Zoom) to attend events and meet writers who get as excited as I do about things like whale poop and leeches, and to share stories and tips about how to do this thing we do better.

Now that my children are older and I am a little less new, I think it is time I helped to contribute to NSWA. If elected, I look forward to working together with the other board members to help NSWA continue to help area writers find peers, friends, support, and resources to help them thrive.

Hannah Weinberger

When I joined Crosscut as its science & environment reporter a few years ago, I crossed paths with NSWA members who became both grounding forces and sources of inspiration. Figuring out multiple new beats would have been much more difficult without the free-flowing encouragement of the NSWA community, and after serving on the organization’s board for a year, I feel even more invested in giving back to NSWA.

As an at-large board member, I led and supported projects that cultivated community, empathy, and education. Social distancing made it harder for members to learn from each other, so I worked with the Mentorship Team to launch new mentor/mentee pairings. I’m passionate about helping scientists and journalists understand and work with each other, and ideated, organized and hosted a conversation with researchers about their relationships with science advocacy and what that means for science communication. Most recently, I hosted a conversation with author Mary Roach about the craft and humor of science writing, which attracted dozens of members with insightful questions. I’m hoping to continue helping NSWA members build strong networks and share skills—like working with public records, collaborating with other writers, self-editing, and beyond—both in person and remotely. I also want to ensure we prioritize equity in our work and our field.

There is so much knowledge in this group, and too many stories to report. Equipping all of us with the confidence to take on challenging stories, and highlight and explore each others’ work ensures a healthier, better-covered Pacific Northwest.