Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins New Horizons 2006
   New Horizons in
   Science 2006

   Conference Information

   Conference Schedule
   - Sat. Oct. 28
   - Sun. Oct. 29
   - Mon. Oct. 30
   - Tue. Oct. 31

   Contact Information

   Related Links



   The Council for the
   Advancement of
   Science Writing

Conference Invitation

To: Science writers, editors, and broadcasters

We invite your coverage of the 44th Annual NEW HORIZONS IN SCIENCE BRIEFING

Saturday, Oct. 28, through Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006
The Tremont Plaza Hotel
Baltimore, Maryland

Organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing Hosted by The Johns Hopkins University

CASW has a great lineup planned for this year's New Horizons in Science, with briefings on new findings in particle physics, epigenomics, climate change, archeology, neuroscience, environmental health, and the sociology of political advertising, among others. For the second year, New Horizons will be held jointly with the annual workshops of the National Association of Science Writers.

New Horizons has several aims. First, we want to give you stories to file, to help you cover your costs. We also want to give you a heads-up on research likely to make news in the coming months. And in the course of presenting the news, we want to give you background that will help you recognize important new developments. We've arranged the schedule to leave time for informal interaction and interviews with our presenters, some of whom will come from Johns Hopkins and the rest from research institutions across the country. There is no fee, and some meals will be provided.

Schedule New Horizons begins Saturday, Oct. 28, with a joint NASW/CASW lunch-with-scientists. The briefings begin after lunch and continue until noon, Tuesday, Oct. 31. Campus lab tours are scheduled for Monday afternoon, Oct. 30; you can select your preferred tours when you register. (For more tour information, see On Tuesday afternoon, we have a special half-day bus trip to NASA's nearby Goddard Space Flight Center.

The joint CASW/NASW banquet will be held Sunday night, Oct. 29, at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The banquet will feature the presentation of NASW's Science-in-Society awards, CASW's Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting, and the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for young science journalists. Tickets for the banquet are $50.

The NASW workshops will immediately precede New Horizons, beginning at noon on Friday, Oct. 27, and ending Saturday, the 28th, after lunch.

Registration We expect a record-setting crowd, so it will be important to make hotel and meeting reservations early. Register for New Horizons (and the NASW workshops) at this address:

Hotel reservations New Horizons and the NASW workshops will take place at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in downtown Baltimore, six blocks from the Inner Harbor. Discounted rooms are available at $139 per night, plus tax. Reservations cannot be made online. You must call the Tremont Plaza Hotel — not the Tremont Park, which is also in Baltimore — to make reservations. Here's the info:

Tremont Plaza Hotel 222 St. Paul Place Baltimore, Md. 21202 Call 1-410-727-2222 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Ask for in-house reservations, and be sure to mention science writers.

Questions For questions about meeting logistics, contact CASW's administrative secretary, Diane McGurgan, at

For information about the program, contact New Horizons Program Director Paul Raeburn at

And to learn more about CASW, contact CASW's Executive Director, Ben Patrusky at

Preliminary Program The full schedule of New Horizons presentations will be mailed to NASW members and online registrants in early September. Here is a quick look at some of the presentations we've lined up so far:

RITUALS IN ANCIENT EGYPT. The Egyptian New Kingdom, from 1567 B.C.E. to 1085 B.C.E., has not normally been known as the cultural forerunner of Janis Joplin or the Grateful Dead. New evidence being unearthed from a temple in Luxor, however, is leading to surprising findings about Egyptians' concept of the divine and how they celebrated it. Archaeologists have unearthed paintings rich in sexual symbolism, aphrodisiacs and music. Or, as they're being forced to conclude: sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

HORMONE NEUROTRANSMITTERS. For a century, biologists have divided hormones and neurotransmitters into separate categories. Both are used for communication, but in different ways. New findings suggest that estrogen, in addition to its hormonal functions, may also function as a rapid-acting neurotransmitter. If that's true, it could broaden researchers' understanding of the brain — and maybe even shed some light on the accusations against Barry Bonds and Floyd Landis.

VOTER PSYCHOLOGY. In some of the first studies to look at the role of emotions in voters' decisions, researchers are doing psychological experiments to examine not only how voters respond to emotional ads, but exactly how politicians exploit voters' emotions to sway their choices. They are also looking at contentious issues outside elections, such as immigration. Which elements of that issue are most likely to trigger anxiety, and why? We'll also learn about a new, unpublished analysis of the use of emotion in ads from the 2000 campaign.

PARTICLE COSMOLOGY. Late next year, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN , the European Center for Nuclear Research, will be turned on, offering a new window into the smallest physics (particles) and the largest (cosmology). Testing is being completed now, and substantial quantities of data are expected by 2008. What will the LHC tell us? And we'll get an advance look at an ambitious experimental program aimed at answering questions about dark energy, something that would have seemed impossible only a short time ago.

FOSSIL FORESTS. Researchers would like to know more about the teeming plants and animals that flourished in conifer forests that covered an ice-free Siberia, Greenland and Arctic Canada during the Eocene, about 45 million years ago. How did these plant communities live through three months of total darkness? What was the status of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere at that time? The discovery of a fabulous wealth of exquisitely preserved fossils on a remote northern Canadian island is allowing researchers to answer those questions.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS. Certain hand soaps contain the antimicrobial agent triclocarban, or TCC, even though the chemical has no clear benefit. Sewage systems carry that triclocarban, which is toxic when ingested, to wastewater treatment plants, which, researchers have found, are very effective at removing it. But the agent persists in the sludge removed from wastewater treatment and that sludge is often recycled as a fertilizer and soil conditioner. Researchers will report where else they've found TCC , and what the health consequences might be.

LAB VISITS. On Monday afternoon, we'll break up the meeting with visits to a variety of Johns Hopkins laboratories. Among the things you will see on the tours: A 43,000-gallon tank with an undersea robot being developed for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A simulation of hurricane damage to seacoasts in a 60-foot-long wave tank. The control room of the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. Stem cells that have been engineered to grow into cartilage that one day might be used to shore up your battered runner's knee. The Johns Hopkins child development lab, where infants and toddlers are scrutinized to see how they learn about the world. (Lunch will be provided.)

AND MORE. Check the Web site for further updates as we add late-breaking topics...


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