New Horizons Program Director, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (2022-)

  • Vetting and recruiting speakers for the science program at the Sciencewriters conference

Contributor, Knowable Magazine (2022-)

Coronavirus Files Newsletter Writer, USC Center for Health Journalism (2020-)

Freelance Science Writer (2006-)

Contributing Science WriterThe ALS Research Forum (2017-2018)

Science Writer, Alzforum (2008-2016)

 Columnist, Los Angeles Times, Health section (2010-2011)

  • Wrote a twice-monthly column called “In the Works”

 Contributing Science Writer, StemBook (2009-2010)

 News Intern, Nature; Washington, DC Bureau (2008)

 Internships during study at University of California, Santa Cruz (2007-2008)

 Mass Media Fellow, Los Angeles Times Science Desk (2007)

  • Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for Advancement of Science



  • Writing and editing for a variety of audiences, from teens to scientists
  • Organizing committees and conferences
  • Explaining complex scientific concepts
  • Managing multiple projects
  • Meeting deadlines in a daily news environment
  • Researching every story thoroughly
  • Providing editorial feedback in a gentle manner
  • Working with a team, remotely from home


Excellence in Reporting, American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2022

      For “Pencils down: The year pre-college tests went away,” in Knowable Magazine

Honorable Mention, Trade, American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2022

      For “The incredible diversity of viruses,” in Nature

Outstanding Article, Trade, American Society of Journalists and Authors, 2021

      For “Manipulating Memory,” in The Scientist

Top Pick, Data Reporting, Best Shortform Science Writing, 2021

      For “What is a cytokine storm?” in Knowable Magazine

Honorable Mention, Folio Magazine Eddies, Single Article, Consumer, Overall, 2020

      For “What is a cytokine storm?” in Knowable Magazine

Contributor to Honorable Mention, Folio Magazine Eddies, Series of Articles, Consumer, Science, & Technology, 2020

      For Knowable's “Building Bodies” series, I contributed "Regeneration: The amphibian’s opus,” “How do bodies position arms, legs, wings and organs?” and “How do bodies map out left and right?"

Runner Up, The Hastings Center Awards for Excellence in Journalism on Ethics and Reprogenetics, 2018

     For “Better beings?” in Nature Biotechnology.

Peggy Girshman Idea Grant, 2018

     From the National Association of Science Writers, to put on a local science-writer conference

Honorable Mention, The Bricker Award for Science Writing in Medicine, 2017

Diane McGurgan Service Award, National Association of Science Writers, 2014

      Presented to myself and Dennis Meredith for “going beyond the call of duty” as co-chairs of the Awards Committee

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Writers, 2010

Cary Lu Memorial Fellowship, 2007

      Scholarship for study of science writing at UC Santa Cruz

Excellence in Teaching Award, Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego, 2006

, 2002-2007

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Elected to membership 2002


Science Communication Program, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008

      Cary Lu Memorial Fellowship

PhDBiology, University of California, San Diego, 2007

      Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship

ScB, Biology with Honors, magna cum laudeBrown University, 2002

Continuing Education

     Editing Memoir, Editorial Freelancers Association, 2020

     Crafting the True Story: An Exploration of Creative Nonfiction, with Jacqui Banaszynski,              Madeline Island School for the Arts, 2019

     Developmental Editing for Nonfiction, Editorial Freelancers Association, 2019

     Developmental Editing, UCLA Extension, 2019 (Grade: A+)

     Copyediitng, UCLA Extension, 2018 (Grade: A)

     Poynter ACES Certificate in Accurate, Audience-Focused Editing, 2018

     Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing, 2018


Co-founder/Co-Organizer/President, SoCal Science Writing, 2018-present

      Group of local science writers who meet for career advancement and camaraderie

      Co-organized one-day SoCal Science Writing Symposium, in May 2018, funded by an NASW Peggy Girshman Idea Grant

     Continued to organize events, including pitch clinics and a second symposium in May 2019

     Edited summaries of symposium sessions

     Worked with a designer to create the group logo

     Co-organized the group book club, 2019-2020

Careers in Science Writing Presentations—See Careers section

     I have given more than a 20 presentations about science writing and my career at universities and research institutes.

NASW Education Committee, 2016-2020

      Edited student news stories

      Helped select student fellowship recipients

NASW Awards Committee Co-Chair, 2011-2017

      Organized the Science in Society writing competition and managed the judging process

      Oversaw several updates to the award categories and rules

Volunteer, Science Byline Counting Project, 2015

     Tracked men’s vs women’s bylines for a dataset on gender disparities in science writing

Presenter, NASW Annual Meeting, November 6, 2010, New Haven, Connecticut

 The Analog Office, Or, How to run a business on index cards, highlighters, and Post-It notes

      Session: Profitable freelancing: Starting a business and keeping it productive

NASW Annual Meeting Committee member, 2011-2012

      Helped select proposals for sessions at the ScienceWriters meeting


Senior Teaching Assistant, Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego, 2006-2007

      Trained and advised new teaching assistants

Teaching Assistant, Division Biological Sciences, UC San Diego, 2004-2006



  • PhD Thesis Research:

      Study of cell-to-cell communication in bacteria during their development

      Analysis of how a cellular motor identifies its cargo (Dance et al, Traffic, 2004)


References provided on request

© Amber Dance 2016