Freelance Science Writer (2006-present)  Clients include:

Newsletter Writer, Center for Health Journalism, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (2020-present)

  • Following news and identifying themes to pen the weekly Coronavirus Files newsletter for journalists

Contributing Science WriterThe ALS Research Forum (2017-2018)

  • Write news and feature articles about basic and clinical research on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Occasionally edited news articles

Science Writer, Alzforum (2008-2016)

  • Covered research and meeting news related to ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions


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

  • Wrote a twice-monthly column called “In the Works”
  • Covered upcoming treatments and other topics in health news


Contributing Science Writer, StemBook (2009-2010)

  • Covered hot topics in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine


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

  • Wrote science and policy news, research summaries, and blog entries
  • Covered news of the 2001 anthrax attack investigation


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


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

  • Wrote breaking news articles and features in all areas of science
  • Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for Advancement of Science



  • Writing and editing for a variety of audiences, from teens to scientists
  • 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


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

      Intensive journalism training for students with a background in research

PhD, Biology, University of California, San Diego, 2007

ScB, Biology with Honors, magna cum laude, Brown University, 2002

Continuing Education

     Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing, 2018

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

     Copyediitng, UCLA Extension, 2018 (Grade: A)

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

     Developmental Editing for Nonfiction, Editorial Freelancers Association, 2019

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

     Editing Memoir, Editorial Freelancers Association, 2020


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

      Awards recognize journalism that explains reprogenetic technologies and addresses broader philosophical questions about their deployment. 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

      Award supports writers who craft and publish biomedical stories

Diane McGurgan Service Award, 2014

      Award given by National Association of Science Writers (NASW), 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

      Award recognizing outstanding reporting by science journalists 30 years old or younger. For articles in the Los Angeles Times and Nature Medicine.

Cary Lu Memorial Fellowship, 2007

      Scholarship for study of science writing at UC Santa Cruz

Mass Media Fellowship, 2007

     From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to intern at the Los Angeles Times Science Desk

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

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship, 2002-2007

      Grant award based on written research proposal

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


Co-founder, 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

     Continuing to organize events, including a second symposium in May 2019

     Edited summaries of symposium sessions

     Worked with a designer to create the group logo

     Co-organizing the group book club, 2019-2020

NASW Education Committee, 2016-2020

      Editing student news stories

      Selecting student fellowship recipients

      Ran a social-media campaign to choose a mascot for travel fellows

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

Careers in Science Writing Presentations—See Careers section

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

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