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Friday, 31 October 2008

EICOS time again

AlphaGalileo has the details of the EICOS Fellowships 2009.

"EICOS, the ‘European Initiative for Communicators of Science’, again invites journalists into its ‘Hands-on Laboratory’ and to the ‘Extended Laboratory Assignments’.

"The programme is aimed at journalists with a wide range of backgrounds and interests who wish to gather first-hand experience of techniques of molecular biology, to discuss their wider implications for the society with researchers, to gain contacts for future stories, and to meet colleagues from different media and different countries."

Monday, 20 October 2008

Women scientists for interview

The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science Engineering and Technology has produced a list of women scientists who are eager and willing to give media interviews.

The UKRC is promoting the list in the hope that journalists will be enabled thereby to find female commentators on science issues rather than going to the usual hoary old greybeards.

The UKRC list has been modified (following consultation with ABSW) to include useful information about the areas of expertise of the spokespersons in question. This was more than slightly important for them, as well as for us, since the whole idea is apparently to have women scientists commenting on a broad spectrum of scientific issues, not just "women in science".

You can access the list here.

Any questions - please contact Erica Williams, Web and info coordinator, at UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Listerhills Park of Science and Commerce 40 - 42 Campus Road Bradford BD7 1HR Tel: 01274 433113 Fax: 01274 436471

Ted Nield

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

European Journalists’ Prize 2008 announced

The Bayer Press Server has opened the doors for the 2008 European Journalists’ Prize, organised with the Association of German Medical Journalists (VDMJ) and Bayer HealthCare to "honor good medical reporting" the awards is "endowed with EUR 7,500".

Entries in by 31 January 2009. Good luck!

Starring Science

The VWN-EUSJA trip to Netherlands astronomy centres
Sunday 28 September - Thursday 2

Oct 2008 The Dutch Association of Science Journalists (VWN) hosted this five-day trip, which in retrospect seems to have occupied a month. There were about 30 participants from countries of Western and Eastern Europe; Stuart Clark and I represented Britain.

All the foreign visitors were accommodated in a pleasant canalside hotel in Leiden, a city so Dutch that they have multi-storey cycle racks in the city centre. Participants didn't have to pay a euro during the whole trip, apart from the costs of getting to and from Leiden - and our Eastern European colleagues had half of those paid...

Read the full account of this trip, by Chris Cooper, on

Friday, 10 October 2008

Science communication brought to book

Science journalists and science writers – there is a difference – may be dismayed by the growing trend to "academicise" their humble trades. If you are among the perturbed then you should probably avoid reading Investigating Science Communication in the Information Age – Implications for public engagement and popular media or Practising Science Communication in the Information Age – Theorising Professional Practices.

Both catchily titled books are from Oxford University Press and, at £19.99 each for paperbacks, slightly less through Amazon, will hardly break the bank.

Richard Holliman, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication in the Science Faculty at The Open University, says that the books "support the teaching of an Open University postgraduate distance learning course" Communicating science in the information age.

The books include contributions from ABSW members, with chapters on "Science communication in fiction" by Jon Turney and Martin Redfern on "Speaking to the world: Radio and other audio".

Thursday, 9 October 2008

October ABSW Briefing

Tuesday 21 October 2008

See my blog

Natasha Loder (The Economist) and Charles Arthur (The Guardian) discuss the interaction between mainstream journalism and a reporter's personal Blog.

Cost: Students £2; ABSW full/associate £5. £10 non members. (Join on night for £5 discount.)

Venue: The Geological Society of London, Piccadilly - entrance opposite Fortnum & Mason
Time: 1800 for 1830 Please note time! Latecomers sometimes cannot be admitted owing to lack of after-hours staff!

Ends c. 1930 for adjournment in direction of a public house


To reserve a place (these are limited to 25, of which 4 have gone already) email now. Places will be held pending receipt of the requisite fee either by cheque or paypal.

Cheques payable to "ABSW" to: Ted Nield at The Geological Society, Burlington House, Puccadilly, LONDON W1J 0BG, or paypal to absw"at"

Please write in the message what it is you're paying for, and email Ted when the deed is done.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Feed frenzy at the World Federation

The World Federation of Science Journalists has found time to rework its web site. "This third iteration of our website is designed to give you a better insight at the world of science journalism, and we mean the whole world!"

A part of the redesign is a set of new RSS Feed. As well as a news stream, which everyone should feed as much as possible, there is a new WFSJ blog.

They aren't the easiest feeds to plug into your reader – we had to enter them manually into Google Reader – but you can't have everything. Some of the best organisations also seem to have a hard time with this technology.