Category Archives: SWINY Events

Tuesday, May 29: An evening with Maggie Koerth-Baker, author of Before the Lights Go Out

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Join Science Writers in New York (SWINY) on May 29 for an evening with Maggie Koerth-Baker, author of Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us. Maggie will discuss how our energy systems were built, how they work today, and how they will influence what we can and can’t do over the next 30 years. She’ll also give us some behind-the-scenes insights into the process of writing her book. If you write about science or care about the future of energy in America, this is a must-see event.

We will meet in room 308 at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,  219 West 40th Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. Space is limited, so RSVP now.

Before the Lights Go Out explores big-picture nuance that gets left out of the day-to-day chatter about energy. What are the big trends that will shape what we can and can’t do over the next 40 years? How does our electricity infrastructure work? Discover how that infrastructure is a lot more interesting (and a lot more complicated) than most laypeople realize.

Maggie’s storytelling includes some fun and funny history of how our current infrastructure came to be. Her critical analysis explains both why we have to solve our energy problem, and why solving it is going to be harder than many climate hawks want to believe. Maggie’s book makes a confusing subject accessible by offering a more nuanced perspective on a topic that’s often very ideology driven.

Scott Rosenberg at calls Before the Ligths Go Out “…a fast, filling read that will arm you with a deeper understanding of the precariousness of our electricity grid, the distinction between efficiency and conservation, and the pros and cons of each of the energy sources we imagine as our savior.”

NASW member Carl Zimmer, contributing editor at Discover and author of Parasite Rex and Science Ink, says Maggie is “one of the most innovative science writers at work today. In Before the Lights Go Out, she digs into perhaps the most puzzling — and urgent — stories of our time: where are we going to get our energy from in future decades?”

Maggie Koerth-Baker is science editor at, one of the most-read blogs in the United States with millions of monthly readers. She also is a freelance science journalist whose work has appeared in magazines like Discover, Popular Science, and New Scientist, and on websites like Scientific American and National Geographic News. In addition to Before the Lights Go Out, Maggie is the author of Be Amazing, a tongue-in-cheek self-improvement guide written with the publishers of mental_floss magazine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
6 to 8 p.m.

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism
219 West 40th Street, Room 308

Center map

Free for 2012 Dues Paid SWINY members
$5 for non-members
Free for CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Students

Not a member? Join SWINY here (for just $25/year) so that we can continue to support more such activities.

May 14: SWINY’s Spring Social at Windfall

Please join Science Writers in New York (SWINY) for an evening of networking/socializing/fun on Monday, May 14, from 6 – 8 PM at Windfall Bar and Restaurant at 23 W. 39th St. (bet. 5th & 6th Aves).

Chat with other writers, editors and PIOs. Reconnect with your colleagues and meet new ones. There is no cover charge, but we ask that you buy at least one drink to support our friends at Windfall. Everyone is welcome. Please forward this message to colleagues or friends that you think might be interested in attending.

RSVP here:

Questions? Email David Levine,

How do you get there? Windfall is right next to Times Square, one block south of Bryant Park between 5th and 6th Aves. Take the 7/B/D/F/V to 42nd St./6th Ave.