The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) present their first joint meeting
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The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) present their first joint meeting

October 22-26, 2005
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hosted by Carnegie Mellon University
and supported by the University of Pittsburgh

Location: The Omni William Penn Hotel, downtown
, and the Carnegie Mellon and Pitt campuses

Carnegie Mellon is pleased to host this historic meeting of the NASW and CASW in Pittsburgh. In addition to exciting presentations of cutting-edge research, guests will have the opportunity to explore our city of rivers and bridges, visit Pittsburgh's vibrant cultural district and learn about the Steel City's heritage and the thriving academic communities that help to drive the region's economy.

There is a charge for the NASW conference, which precedes the CASW sessions. There is no separate fee for CASW sessions, with the exception of the ticket cost for the CASW banquet ($50).

To register for the combined NASW and CASW programs, please click here.

Because this is the first time that the meetings will be combined, prior registration is required to ensure accommodations for everyone who participates in all of the sessions.

Hotel reservations should be made DIRECTLY with the Omni William Penn in downtown Pittsburgh. Please mention this conference when you call to obtain the conference rate of $119 plus tax.

Sunday, October 23

Welcome Reception - 6-8 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, Technology Drive
Come and mingle at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) where you can converse with "Quasi," the animatronics character created to be a mascot for the World's Fair for Kids, walk inside a new dimension in the NASA-sponsored "Overlaid Reality Bubble," explore the conflict in Israel and Palestine using the "Peacemaker" game or learn about new art conservation technologies.

Monday, October 24

CASW Banquet, Monday, October 24 - 6-9:45 p.m.
Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
This museum, Pennsylvania's largest history museum, will open its exhibit space during the cocktail reception before dinner. Step inside a 1790's log cabin, discover how immigrants shaped our region, experience the thrill of an unmatched sports legacy and climb aboard a 1940's Pittsburgh Trolley. The banquet will be catered by the Common Plea Restaurant, a Pittsburgh landmark and one of the city's finest restaurants. The banquet will include presentation of the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Reporting, and an after-dinner talk by author Lawrence M. Krauss, whose new book, "Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond," will be published that day. Tickets: $50 per person.

Tuesday, October 25

Closing Party: Blue eyed soul at Dowe's On 9th, Pittsburgh's Premier Jazz Club - 6:30 p.m.
Partygoers will be treated to the music of Billy Price, East Coast blue-eyed soul man. Former lead vocalist with Roy Buchanan and founder of Billy Price & the Keystone Rhythm Band, Price has been entertaining Pittsburgh and East Coast audiences for more than 30 years with his brand of blues, rhythm and blues, and deep soul music. Join us at Dowe's On 9th, one of Pittsburgh's premier jazz clubs. Al Dowe and Etta Cox, who have been headlining the Pittsburgh jazz scene for over 25 years, created the club to put jazz at center stage in downtown Pittsburgh. Dowe's is a short walk from the Omni William Penn, site of the conference.

Tuesday afternoon, October 25: Laboratory Tours

Participants will be visiting Carnegie Mellon's campus for science panels in the morning and lab tours in the afternoon. (Please note tour times - some are repeated.) You can register for the first five tours as part of your online registration at

Robotics Tours (Limit 15 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
On this tour, which includes Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and the National Robotics Engineering Consortium in nearby Lawrenceville, visitors will see and learn about the latest advances in computer vision, autonomous vehicles, medical, social, space and search-and-rescue robots and robots being commercialized for government and industrial use.

Driving The Future (Limit 15 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Will we drive our cars, or will our cars drive us? Carnegie Mellon researchers from electrical and computer engineering are developing technology to help your car communicate, giving drivers critical information about road conditions and traffic.

Speedy Shopping and "Blinking Right"—RFID in Action (Limit 50 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
From minor annoyances like long waits in the supermarket checkout line to major difficulties like blinking for people who have facial paralysis, solutions may come in the form of radio frequency identification (RFID) and other technologies developed at Pitt's John A. Swanson Institute for Technical Excellence. Load up your cart, and keep an eye out for "Harry the Head!"

Medical Simulation For Dummies (Limit 45) 1-4 p.m.
The University of Pittsburgh's Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research (WISER) is the largest medical simulation center of its kind. It houses manikins that look and respond like real people in rooms that look like real ORs and ICUs. WISER is used to train thousands of doctors, nurses, paramedics and medical students each year.

Take a Spill for Science (Limit 20 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Watch as the researchers at Pitt's Human Movement and Balance Laboratory do their best to make a volunteer--who's safely strapped into a harness--slip and fall down. It's not malicious, of course--the scientists are studying the biomechanics of falls in order to reduce the occurrence of such accidents. Then head over to Pitt's Medical Virtual Reality Center, a psychedelic cave where you'll take a dizzying trip into the world of balance disorders.

New Tours

The following tours have been added. To register for these tours, please download this form and fax it to the attention of Kelly Widmaier at 412-268-6929.

The Office of the Future (Limit 15 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
The Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace is a 7,000-square-foot, $4 million living (always changing and improving) and lived-in (occupied workspace) research, development and demonstration project that seeks to advance physical improvements that affect the health, motivation and productivity of the more than 50 million members of the U.S. office workforce.

See How Cells of the Live Brain Coordinate Learning (Limit 15 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Tour neuroscience labs where investigators develop and use unique technologies to reveal how learning is coordinated among cells within the living brain. Approaches include customized multi-photon laser-scanning microscopy to explore how neural circuits function, computational tools to detect how brain cells synchronize their activities and imaging tools to witness neural activation in profound, new ways.

Have a Heart (Limit 20 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon University's Biomedical Engineering Department features everything from innovative heart assist pumps to computational biomechanics. Join James Antaki, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, in a hands-on tour through a lab of the future where research in experimental and computational fluid dynamics could improve the blood flow and mechanics of the human heart.

Coming Clean (Limit 10 per tour) 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon's Nanofabrication Lab is home technology startups using tiny computer chips to improve cell phones or gauge damage done when users drop disk drives. The 4,000-square-foot cleanroom sports more than $10 million worth of high-tech equipment. But you gotta come clean, and suit up in a white "bunny suit" to review these space age digs.

Limited Opportunity: Fallingwater (Limit 15) 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Designed by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater is a premier example of "organic architecture," which promotes harmony between man and nature, and integrates the structure, furnishings and surroundings into a unified composition. This tour is available on a first come, first-served basis. Participants will be charged admission ($15) and the cost of a boxed lunch ($15). Pitt's Franklin Toker, author of "Fallingwater Rising" (Knopf, 2003), along with a member of Carnegie Mellon's architecture faculty, will provide a brief lecture before the tour departs.

Transportation will be provided for events that are not within walking distance of the hotel. Shuttle schedules will be posted and shuttles will depart at least 15 to 30 minutes before each event.

For questions about meeting logistics, contact Diane McGurgan, at 304-754-5077 or

For questions about the program, contact program director Paul Raeburn at 212-645-1240 or

For questions about things to see and do while at Carnegie Mellon or the University of Pittsburgh, contact Teresa Thomas (Carnegie Mellon) at 412-268-2900 or, Karen Hoffman (Pitt) at 412-624-4356 or, or Lisa Rossi (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) at 412-647-3555 or

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