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Monday, 19 October 2009

The end of this blog

Please note that this blog is no longer being updated as it has now been incorporated into the ABSW's new website. Please check there for the latest news, job postings and everything else.



ABSW Webmanager

Monday, 12 October 2009

ABSW South West at the King Bill

On 16 September, seven of the ABSW's finest minds gathered in a dark pub on King Street in Bristol. Thanks to new funding for regional meetings, drinks were at the expense of the Association. (And thanks to the excellent value offered by the King William, there is still enough in the kitty for another round).

Amid much talk of the recent World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in London, there was discussion of the identity of the British Science Association and of forming links with Bristol's Festival of Ideas, as well as the next WCSJ in Egypt.

A third meeting is planned before the end of the year. Any members in the region who are not on the South West list can email Hayley Birch at hayleymbirch [a]

Those who attended: Matin Durrani, Carolyn Allen, Liz Kalaugher, Julie Clayton, Jon Turney, James Dacey and Hayley Birch.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

27 October – first of the new ABSW lunches

The first of the new ABSW lunch dates has been fixed for the favourite choice, Tuesday 27th October.

Venue is Doggett's Coat and Badge, overlooking the Thames on Blackfriars Bridge. We will have our own bar, with balcony overlooking the river, from 12 noon to 4 pm. Lunch will be served at 1pm.

I hope that some of those who preferred other dates will still be able to come - we need at least 20 people to make it a success.

I am trying to fix up a speaker but can't say any more until that is confirmed. Whatever happens, it will still be a great chance to meet other science writers and do some networking.

Price for a three-course lunch, to include wine and tea or coffee is a very reasonable £25.

Hurry along to the special webpage to confirm your attendance and pick your menu. To avoid embarrassment on the day, please make a note of your choice!

Not a member the ABSW? Sign up now!

Paul Sutherland

Saturday, 3 October 2009

JOB AD: Communications Strategist Science Writer/Editor

Communications Strategist Science Writer/Editor

Working from home, anywhere in the world. Full-time preferred, but part-time applicants considered.

Green Ink is a leading provider of communication services in support of natural resources research for development. Our clients are organizations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger and protecting the environment in the developing world.

We are seeking an experienced communications strategist to develop our new service in this area. Able to design and deliver a package of activities spanning the participatory development of a strategy, training in its implementation and assessment of its impact, you will know how to identify key areas of intervention, from the written word or image to new communications tools and channels. You will be particularly knowledgeable about media outreach and social networking. An outstanding writer yourself, you will be able to lead by example in the development of content that achieves impact. Equipped with a relevant university degree or equivalent, you will already have an impressive record of success, probably in a corporate setting. You must be willing to travel to our clients when necessary.

We are also seeking talented English-language science writers/editors who are able to work independently yet enjoy being part of a team. You will be able to generate outstanding content on science and development issues for the popular and semi-specialist media, in both electronic and hard-copy formats. Besides an attractive portfolio of communication skills and a knowledge of natural resources R&D, you should have commitment, integrity and flair, coupled with the ability to work under pressure. You will be able to lead the planning and execution of complex communication projects, working with other team members to ensure timely product delivery to a high quality standard. A relevant university degree, proven experience, computer literacy, ability to work from home and willingness to travel are essential. Plus points are skills and experience in media outreach and social networking.

Salaries will range from £23,000 to £30,000 according to skills and experience and there is an attractive benefits package. Visit our website at to apply by 30 October 2009.

We are an equal opportunities employer.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Science journalism and libel laws – ABSW annual lecture

This year's ABSW annual lecture, on 15the October, will be a debate about science journalism and the libel laws. The event is being produced in association with City University, to celebrate the launch of City's MA course in Science Journalism.

ABSW members have up to 100 guaranteed places at this event on October 15th, but they must book their places by the end of the month (September 30th). After this, unused places will be released to the public.

Booking is through City University's website, entry is free.

To ensure that you reserve one of the guaranteed places, when you are filling in the booking form please provide the information "I am an ABSW member" in the drop down box which asks "Where did you hear about this event".

Science Fact science journalism and libel law

  • Simon Singh, freelance science journalist and author of Trick or Treatment?

  • Ben Goldacre, columnist, doctor and author of Bad Science

  • John Kampfner, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship

  • Duncan Lamont, libel lawyer and Head of Media & Entertainment at Charles Russell

  • Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense About Science

Science journalists Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre have both been sued in the past year for libel. They challenged the scientific method and evidence behind the use of chiropractic treatment for children (Singh) and the role of multivitamins to combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa (Goldacre).

After long court battles, Goldacre won his case, with the financial support of the Guardian, but Singh lost and faces the prospect of mounting an expensive appeal.

Should scientific debate be silenced by the use of English libel laws, thereby keeping the public in the dark? What are the wider implications for journalism and is there a pressing need for reform of the English libel laws?

Thursday October 15 2009 Time:7:00 PM

Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, City University London, Northampton Square, London, EC1V 0HB

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Monday, 17 August 2009

New Scientist seeks science graduates for new blog

Recent graduates looking to expand their science writing skills might be interested in this.

New Scientist is looking for recent science, technology or engineering graduates interested in blogging throughout the year about their experiences of life after University.

They are launching a new area of their website specifically for students in September 2009, and, according to their ad copy. "One of the things we'd like to do is help students understand what life is like after graduation."

We're looking for recent graduates to blog for us throughout the year about their experiences of life after university. You may be entering the world of work, going into further study or taking time out for some other exciting adventure.

If you are a keen blogger, happy to share your experiences about life after graduation to inform and inspire our student audience in exchange for the experience of writing for New Scientist, we'd like to hear from you.

Full details and how to apply can be found on their website.