Category Archives: Events

June 20: SWINY’s Sixth Annual Private Tour in Central Park



How the “green team” Saved Hallett Nature Sanctuary

Join us to learn, explore, climb, enjoy and discover

Tuesday, June 20: 6–8 pm (rain or shine)

Photo: Rebecca Fuhrer

For half a century, Hallett Nature Sanctuary was partially closed. It was finally restored, to develop naturally and sustainably, but soon the native trees were under vicious attack by an invasive species. Could a natural haven ever survive in the Park’s southeast corner?

On SWINY’s exclusive private tour, we’ll find out how Central Park’s experts ultimately solved their botanical calamity.  The completed sanctuary reopened just two months ago. Special thanks to Michael Graff—our experienced, fascinating guide, for the sixth consecutive year. In addition to leading the SWINY group again, he’s invited world-renowned naturalist Dr. Gary Lincoff to add expertise and insights. We will:

  • Explore the brand new rocky walking trails that took years to build
  • Climb the Park’s 3rd highest promontory and savor its memorable Manhattan views
  • Visit a secret spot not known to the public
  • Spot the Sanctuary’s animal life—snapping turtles, swans, egrets, herons, raccoons, rabbits, woodchucks, assorted fish—plus the usual Central Park bird gang
  • Walk through the gate made of fallen trees, newly designed and crafted by Park staff
  • Welcome the imminent Summer Solstice

Bring cameras and binoculars. Wear walking shoes; those new trails are uneven in spots. We look forward to seeing you in the park!

Meeting place provided after you register.


  • $5 for SWINY/NASW members
  • $15 for non-members
  • Children from ages 8 to 12 are welcome as guests of SWINY

Please sign up early; the group is limited to 20:

REFUND/CANCELATION POLICY: This event will take place rain or shine. However, SWINY will refund admission fees provided we are notified by noon on Monday, June 19.

P.S.  Does Hallet sound familiar? SWINY’s first Central Park tour was held here.  Since then, the area has become a sanctuary and undergone significant changes.  Anyone at the 2012 outing will see several places that had been inaccessible or nonexistent.

June 15: Book talk with ‘Ends of the World’ author Peter Brannen


Past, present, and future

Science Writers in New York (SWINY) invites you to a timely book talk at Books Are Magic, Brooklyn’s newest independent bookstore in the heart of Cobble Hill.

As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet’s history, author Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet’s five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future.

Award-winning journalist and author Peter Brannen will be in conversation with David Biello, Energy and Environment Editor, Scientific American. Book signing to follow.

Thursday, June 15, 2017
7:30 PM

Books are Magic
(corner of Smith and Butler) 

Center map
Google MapsGet Directions


F or G train to Bergen Street
Walk 4 blocks south (facing traffic) 


May 16: Is Artificial Intelligence Outsmarting Us?

Humanoid robots in “Humans,” Westworld,” and
“Ex Machina” are science fiction – for now.

May 16, 2017 | 5:30 pm–7:30 pm


We’re already interacting with artificial intelligence every day through voice-recognition devices like Siri, Alexa and Google Home. A.I. takes our Starbucks orders, drives Uber cars, curates our Facebook newsfeeds and pilots unmanned military drones.

This year A.I. will write more than half of financial and sports stories. It already writes computer code and has the capability to learn. Would you trust robots to make life and death decisions? How fast will intelligent machines replace people? Will they have the capacity to turn on us?

Science Writers in New York (SWINY) invites you to explore those questions and more in a provocative evening with two experts on the implications of living with smart machines.


Dr. Susan Schneider is a frequent speaker on the ethics and implications of artificial intelligence and has given a TED talk on the subject. She is an associate professor in the Philosophy and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Connecticut, a fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton, and editor of Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence (2nd Edition, 2016, Wiley-Blackwell).


Dr. Peter Asaro co-founded the International Committee for Robot Arms Control and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots ( An assistant professor of media studies at the New School, he focuses on the social, cultural, political, legal and ethical dimensions of military robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones.

Moderator: Alan Brown has been writing about artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and robots for the past decade. A veteran free-lance science writer, he is an editor at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Kavli Foundation and a member of the SWINY Board.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017
5:30 pm–7:30 pm
Panel Discussion Starts 6:00 pm Sharp! (Followed by Q&A)

NYPL Science, Industry and Business Library
188 Madison Ave at 34th St.

Free for SWINY Members
$10 for Nonmembers

Become a SWINY member and attend this event for free:


RSVP: Seating is limited; please RSVP by Monday, May 15:

Refund/cancellation Policy: SWINY will refund admission fees provided we are notified by noon on Monday, May 15.