What is ISWA?
The International Science Writers Association (ISWA), an organization of individual membership, was formed in 1967 in response to the increasingly international scope of science popularization and technical communications. Today’s science writer may need to cover stories originating abroad by means of telephoned and written inquiries, to commission reports by science writers abroad, or simply to be aware of developments elsewhere. Moreover, the growing role of science and technology in development has meant that science communicators in both the industrialized and emerging nations now share many common goals. All this necessitates an ever wider circle of contacts.
The primary objective of ISWA is to provide such contacts and to enable members to assist each other when working in a foreign country–sometimes by arranging accommodations, by advising on the reliability of news sources, or by facilitating contacts abroad–to say nothing of offering hospitality in the intervals between work!
ISWA is of particular value to individuals who do not have a national association of science writers in their home countries. Yet ISWA is not designed to replace national bodies, or to discourage the linking of them in larger, regional federations. Rather, ISWA hopes to serve as a means for science communicators everywhere to share in the mutual benefits of a professional organization and, perhaps, to serve as a bridge between scientists and communicators on an international scale. Many individual members with adequate advantages belong in order to help less advantaged colleagues when they can.
ISWA works to obtain improved science media facilities everywhere, to get recognition of members on at least the same basis as the local media, and to maintain and improve standards of science writing generally.
ISWA was a key player in creating the World Federation of Science Journalists. For journalists who are not in a country or region with an association, this is the place where you get representation within the WFSJ.