Announcing the 2014 AMWA Student Scholarship

AMWA Southwest is pleased to announce our first student scholarship! This scholarship is available for full-time students of any accredited university, and applicants do not have to be AMWA members. The scholarship award includes registration fees for AMWA Southwest’s regional conference at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas as well as lodging in the conference hotel, fees for one workshop, and a year-long student membership to AMWA.

For more details and an application form, please download the PDF below and return the completed form to Angela Beeler.

AMWA SW 2014 Student Scholarship

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

Announcing the 2014 AMWA SW Chapter Conference

Date: June 21, 2014

Location: Texas State University – San Marcos


7:30a – Sign-in and continental breakfast

8a – Speed networking

9a – 12p – Workshops

  • Writing the Final Report of A Clinical Trial[Howard Smith] (RR/PH) #414
  • Tables and graphs [Cindy Hamilton] (ES/G) #2011

9a – 10:30a – Open Session 1: Scope of Medical Writing

10:30a – 12p – Open Session 2: Microsoft Word tips and tricks

Noon – Lunch

12:30p – Plenary Lecture: TBD

2p – 5p – Workshops

  • Building A New Drug Application [Howard Smith] (RR/PH) #4003
  • Writing Abstracts [Cindy Hamilton] (CP/EW/PH) #3019

2p – 3:30p – Open Session 3: Scott Mogul – Scientific miscitation

3:30p – 5p – Open Session 4: Maureen Keeley – Nonverbal and gendered communication

5p – Conference adjourns

6p – Networking dinner

Please visit the registration portal to sign up for this event:

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

Judging the strength of peer review

A recent News Focus article in Science magazine highlighted the difficulty inherent in predicting publication outcomes for funded grants. The article highlights the work of Michael Lauer, the head of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the NIH. Lauer and his colleagues found that grant review committee ratings did not necessarily correlate with publication metrics like number of publications or time to publication. This calls into question the primacy of peer review as the main predictor of grant success and paves the way for changes to the grant review process. The article also mentions a fledgling proposal to increase focus on pragmatic trials that address “important clinical questions” without necessarily being the sort of in-depth molecular analysis that is common in most current NIH grant applications.

These types of changes to the grant funding environment may greatly influence the rules as well as the strategies that grant editors, writers, and reviewers use on a daily basis. The News Focus also mentions some preliminary changes that Lauer has made for his institute, including the creation of a separate pragmatic trials review group, that may be a sign of things to come.

Posted in Editing, Science publishing, Writing | Leave a comment

Houston Printing Museum Tour

Place: Museum of Printing History
Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Cost: $7 for adults
Address: 1324 W. Clay Street, Houston, TX, 77019
Details: The tour will begin at 2:00 and will probably be finished around 3:30 or 4:00. We will have a chance to see demonstrations of a Gutenberg Press and be able to use a 150-year-old press to print a galley! More information is available at
RSVP: Jill Delsigne at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Houston Happy Hour!

Place: West Alabama Ice House
Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Address: 1919 West Alabama St., between Shepherd and Dunlavy on the south side of the street.
Details: West Alabama Ice House is a local Houston landmark that has a wide selection of beers and plenty of outdoor seating. If the parking lot is full, there is street parking in the neighborhood. There are two food trucks on the nearby corners, and there’s a basketball court in the back. Dogs are welcome!

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

2014 John P. McGovern Banquet and Lecture

The McGovern Award Banquet and Lecture will be held on February 1, 2014 at Treebeards, Market Square, in downtown Houston. This year’s recipient is award-winning neuroscientist and New York Times-bestselling author David Eagleman, Ph.D.

His lecture, titled “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and the Secret Lives of Brain Scientists,” will explore a question Dr. Eagleman has spent years researching:

If the conscious mind, the part you consider YOU, accounts for only a fraction of the brain’s function, what is all the rest doing?

Dr. Eagleman will delve into how our behaviors, thoughts, and experiences are inseparably linked to a vast, wet, chemical-electrical network called the nervous system. The machinery is utterly alien to us, and yet, somehow, it is us. His research charts new terrain in neuroscience to help us understand how our perceptions of ourselves and our world result from the hidden workings of the most wondrous thing we have ever discovered: the human brain.

Beyond his laboratory research, Dr. Eagleman is passionate about science communication. In his recent manifesto on the topic, he forwards six reasons why scientists should care about communicating their knowledge to the public. He points out that scientists are optimally stationed to increase their presence in the public sphere: their training positions them to synthesize large bodies of data, weigh the evidence, and communicate with nuance, authenticity, and exactitude.

We hope that you will join us for dinner, a captivating lecture, and the chance to socialize with fellow medical communicators.

6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm McGovern Award Lecture
9:30 pm Adjournment

Treebeards, Market Square
315 Travis Street
Houston, Texas 77002

Please register at

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

Dallas Holiday Party!

When: Saturday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cathleen Kearns house, 7337 Brightwater Road, Fort Worth, TX 76132

R.S.V.P.: Please RSVP to by December 18th

For more information or questions, email or call 8one7-7zero7-4seven32

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

Randy Schekman on the nature of science publishing

This week, Randy Schekman, a winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine, declared a boycott on “luxury journals” and wrote an impassioned editorial for The Guardian on how many high-quality journals and impact factor measurements are distorting the professionalism of scientific publication. He likened impact factor and the current standards for academic advancement to the bonus culture of banking and argues that prestigious journals are more interested in marketing than the scientific impact of their publications. This trend, he says, encourages research “bubbles” in fashionable fields while discouraging other necessary endeavors like replication studies.

The Guardian has the full editorial.

Posted in Allied groups, Science publishing | Leave a comment


When: Saturday, December 14, 7:30 pm

Where: Stephen Palmer’s house, 6615 Meadowlawn St, Houston, TX 77023

Directions: As you drive north on Wayside (after going under I-45 and passing through the first traffic light, you will see an underpass up ahead; stay to the right (i.e., avoid the underpass). Meadowlawn is the next street on the right.

R.S.V.P.: Jill Delsigne at

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment

Digital Discussion: Certifications and Associations

Certifications and Associations: Which ones are right for you?

In the ever-growing world of certifications and associations, one may not know which deliver the best bang for the buck. Our discussion will talk about organizations and programs that are related to medical writing and editing, as well as research development.

Date: December 2, 2013

Time: Noon, CST

In the ever-growing world of certifications and associations, one may not know which deliver the best bang for the buck. Our discussion will talk about organizations and programs that are related to medical writing and editing, as well as research development.

RSVP: R. Michelle Sauer, Ph.D., ELS, CRA via email:

Posted in Events, Members | Leave a comment