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Friday, 30 January 2009

CERN's head of communications on the media flap

James Gillies, the poor soul who had to put up with Andrew Marr and a media circus on the day the world did not end, offers his account on what happened at at the LHC in an interview with Matthew Chalmers on, CERN: the view from inside. Among other things, James puts paid to the rumour that it was all set up around Marr's holiday plans, but he does admit that "The BBC did ask if we could put the date back if Andrew couldn’t make it, and we said “no”."
What about that "black hole" scare? "Ultimately it helped us by generating interest, but it also worried an awful lot of people and that makes me somewhat angry. People were phoning us up genuinely worried about the end of the world and demanding to know who CERN is accountable to."
The interview is an interesting account of what went on at CERN, especially the aftermath, when the thing quickly experienced and expensive breakdown. There are tales of (temporarily) suppressed pictures, rewritten notebooks and, reading between the lines, one or two people who thought they could manage the news for their own purposes.
The good news, if you are that way inclined, is that there will be a second chance to experience the excitement, when they restart the LHC. There will, though, be a somewhat smaller circus.
This time we won't have to go there to see what is happening. "The whole process will be webcast. CERN was unwilling to invest in bandwidth before the 10th so the webcast fell over very early in the morning, but we’ve since had companies offering us bandwidth in exchange for having their logo displayed."
Perhaps they should seek funds from those other creators of black holes, the world's banks. Then again, they probably don't have that much spare cash lying around these days.

Manager - EMBO Publications

  • Grade: 9, 10 or 11 depending on experience and qualifications
  • EMBL site: EMBO Heidelberg
  • Commencing date: As soon as possible, after closing date
Job description: EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization, publishes three high profile journals – The EMBO Journal, EMBO Reports and Molecular Systems Biology. The launch of a fourth journal – EMBO Molecular Medicine – is planned for early 2009. The position of Manager of Publications will fall vacant in the course of 2009. The successful applicant will take over the primary responsibility for the successful operation of all four journals. The role of the publications manager encompasses the overall strategic, scientific and financial management of all four EMBO publications and their editorial offices. EMBO publication policy will be developed together with the EMBO Director, the publications staff, the publishers of the journals, the EMBO publications committee and EMBO Council. Day-to-day responsibilities include liaison with the Senior or Executive academic editors of the journals, the Chair of the EMBO Publications committee, organisation of meetings of this committee and of the advisory editorial boards of the journals including preparation of documentation for and reports of the meetings of these bodies.

Qualifications and experience: The ideal candidate will have proven research track record, a thorough knowledge of molecular biology and broad interests in diverse areas of the life sciences. He/she should have extensive editorial experience and be familiar with trends in modern scientific publishing. A key requirement for the position is the ability to think critically about the wide range of strategic, scientific, financial and management issues required for the successful operation of high quality scientific journals. Fluent English is essential, as are good communication and organisational skills and the ability to provide leadership to the editorial teams.

Contract: An initial contract of 5 years will be offered to the successful candidate. This can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of review.

Closing date: 28 February 2009

Web page:

To apply, please email a cover letter, CV (in English) and contact information of three professional references quoting ref. no. W/08/096 in the subject line, to:
Personnel, EMBL, Postfach 10.2209, 69012 Heidelberg, Germany.

Fax: +49 6221 387555 E-mail:

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Wanted: eLearning Content Developer

The EMBL-EBI’s Outreach and Training Team is looking for an eLearning content developer. The primary duties are to:

  • Expand and consolidate the EBI’s range of eLearning materials. This will involve updating and maintaining existing content, as well as creating new content in a variety of formats.
  • Create video-based tutorial and help-desk materials, and support others at the EBI who need to produce these materials. This may involve either storyboarding and working with others or the complete production process, depending on previous experience.
  • Investigate ways to exploit electronic technologies, such as podcasting, to deliver timely and relevant information to the EBI’s users.
  • Create synergies within the online community of bioinformatics trainers and trainees.
  • Contribute to the team’s other outreach and training activities, both at the EBI and around the world. This will involve some international travel to conferences and consortium meetings.

The role will involve substantial initiative and will require extensive interactions with training and outreach representatives throughout the EBI.

This post requires at least a degree in the molecular life sciences most probably followed by PhD or other equivalent experience.The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ experience of generating multimedia content for scientific training purposes, and will have excellent writing and editing skills. (S)he will be capable of communicating complex scientific ideas to different target audiences, ranging from scientists to the general public. Experience in the use of computational biology databases and tools is highly desirable. The eLearning Content Developer will have worked in an international environment, either within academia or in a commercial setting and will be skilled at liaising with design and production teams both within and outside the EBI to achieve the desired end product.

Good knowledge of MS Office, email and internet applications is required. HTML editing and design skills are highly desirable but not essential. Familiarity with graphics and web-design packages such as Adobe Creative Suite is desirable but not essential. Awareness of the challenges involved in delivering multimedia content to different platforms and to areas with low bandwidth is highly desirable.In addition to being highly self-motivated, the ideal candidate will have excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work well as a part of a team. A strong interest (ideally backed up by experience) in scientific elearning tools and methodologies is highly desirable. Ability to work to deadlines is essential, as is the ability to harness the creativity of others whilst ensuring that they keep to brief. Candidates with a desire to work in an international environment are encouraged to apply. Fluency in English is essential, and some familiarity with other European languages is extremely desirable.

An initial contract of 3 years will be offered to the successful candidate. This can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of review.

For further information please visit and

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation.

To apply, please email a cover letter, CV (in English) and contact information of three professional references quoting ref. no. ABSW/08/081/EBI in the subject line, to:

ESF - Press Officer wanted!

Press Officer

The European Science Foundation (ESF) provides a platform for its Member Organizations to advance European research and explore new directions for research at the European level.

Established in 1974 as an independent non-governmental organisation, ESF currently serves 80 Member Organisations (Research Funding Agencies, Research Performing Organisations and Academies) across 30 countries.

Mission of the Position

The ESF is offering an exciting position with the opportunity for an experienced press officer to further develop media relations at the ESF.

The mission of this position is to provide ESF Member Organisations, the European Research Community in general, the policy makers, the media and society at large with effective communication and to develop and implement a plan for media relations to increase ESF’s international visibility as one of the major players in the European Research Area. This position requires an outgoing, enthousiastic and diplomatic profile to work closely with journalists, scientists and senior management both internally and externally. Good press writing and interviewing skills are a pre-requisite and an existing network of science journalists a bonus.

Position Responsibilities

This position will involve:

  • Developing and implementing a plan/guidelines for media relations activities of ESF;
  • Identifying and developing proactive media stories;
  • Cultivating collaborative relationships with print and broad cast media;
  • Networking with international journalists ;
  • Pitching stories and securing longer lead placements in top media outlets;
  • Writing and editing feature articles;
  • Conducting podcast interviews
  • Working with ESF scientists and management to write, format and distribute press releases
  • Maintaining and further developing the Media Centre on the ESF website
  • Handling the prompt reply to media enquiries ;
  • Writing and editing all corporate material;
  • Liaising with the freelance network and coordinating the work.

Profile and Competences required

The successful jobholder should demonstrate the following competences:

Specific competences

  • Degree in communications or journalism and a minimum of 5 years experience in science journalism and communication ;
  • A scientific background would be an asset;
  • Proven experience of the media and how it works;
  • An established network of journalists;
  • Proven experience in writing science stories for a variety of media;
  • Ability to create quality content in a fast-paced working environment, under pressure and to deliver to tight deadlines;
  • Ability to recognise news value and to be proactive in taking action in promoting ESF activities;
  • An understanding of how corporate communication fits into the wider objectives of an organisation;
  • High standard of spoken and written English;
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office systems and of electronic databases and Web sites (Typo 3).

    Inter-personal competences:
  • Action-orientated, responsible and autonomous, creative and willing to take initiatives, an
  • continuously improvement-minded;
  • Strong inter-personal and excellent communication skills within a multi-national context, including discretion, diplomacy and tolerance;
  • Good self organisational skills;
  • Good presentational skills;
  • Transparency in working and a team-orientated work ethic;
  • Commitment to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines;
  • Positive and constructive attitude;
  • Capable of demonstrating the ESF’s values: Excellence, Openness, Responsiveness, Pan-European approach, Ethical Awareness and Human Values.

    Employment conditions
  • This full-time position is offered for an 18 months contract, preferably starting as soon as possible, with the possibility of an extension.
  • The place of work is Strasbourg, France and the job will involve a significant amount of travel.
  • The salary level will be based on experience and qualifications of the successful candidate and will follow ESF terms and conditions.

Please send your application by 02 February 2009 to quoting the following reference identifier


  • Interviews will be held in Strasbourg 20 February 2009.

ESF welcomes applications from disabled candidates. ESF premises are fully equiped for disabled access.

Further details at

Assistant Editor

An Assistant Editor is required to join a small energetic team producing a bi-monthly international journal on renewable energy and water resources development, and organizing annual conferences.

He/she will research and prepare news, help to sub-edit technical features, occasionally report from conferences, and assist with other related aspects of journal production, including proof reading and liaising with authors.

Necessary attributes: excellent standard of English; ability to tackle technical/scientific material and make it readable; good working knowledge of the usual publishing software; confidence to inter-act with readers and contributors by phone, face-to-face as well as by email.
Useful but not essential: qualification in, or aptitude for, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering; knowledge of a second language.

Salary will depend on previous experience.

  • Please apply in writing, with a covering letter, CV, and examples of previous work, to: Alison Bartle, Director, Aqua-Media International Ltd, PO Box 285, Wallington, Surrey SM6 6AN.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Roy Greenslade on The Sun's Martian scoop

Roy Greenslade, grand old person of media commentators, has his take on the recent embargo brouhaha in The Guardian, How The Sun got its 'Life on Mars' world exclusive.

Greenslade adds little that we don't know, and doesn't even seem to have a view on the saga. He just wraps up with a parting observation that "His scoop has certainly stimulated controversy among the community of science journalists, in the States and in Britain. Some of them are clearly upset about Sutherland acting like a reporter while others are wondering whether he has a point about the passivity of a news-managed journalism."

Strangely for The Guardian, which usually gets swamped with readers' observations, the piece has attracted very few comments. One is certainly in line with the 'papers readership: "While Mr Sutherland deserves some credit for sleuthing around the embargo, Mr Greenslade misses the bigger issue: the sensationalistic, misleading way the results were published by The Sun."

Ginger Pinholster replies

Following the publication of Ted Nield's letter to her, Ginger Pinholster of EurekAlert! has asked that her reply and her subsequent letter to Chris Pharo of The Sun be published also.

To Ted Nield
(Chair, ABSW)

Good morning, Ted. I hope that this reply finds you well.

Your input is very helpful, thank you. Please be assured that I'm in the process of re-evaluating the Sun decision. As I told the writer who contacted me yesterday, we are always happy to reconsider decisions.

This morning, I e-mailed a handful of UK-based reporters not affiliated with your inquiry to request their counsel. I also copied a key EurekAlert! advisor and the heads of the NASW and the WFSJ (who are copied again here), inviting them to weigh in as well. My message to that group is below. I'm happy to share this with you in confidence, but on the condition that you refrain from re-distributing it to anyone. I was pleased that my conversation with Mr. Pharo of the Sun seemed to be a productive one this morning. I'll let you know of the final outcome shortly, after I've received some opinions via email.

I'm certainly open to the notion that I might have made a wrong call in this case. I hope that I'll never become so weary of these types of matters that I become arrogant. However, I do firmly reject your allegation of any "petty revenge" modus operandi; none of our decisions are made unilaterally, and all rely upon the input of reporter-advisors. As you might be aware, we have been attempting to the best of our abilities to respond appropriately to a troubling spate of UK-based embargo violations. So, I do think that the ABSW, as the region's professional science journalism society, could play an extremely helpful role in clarifying codes of conduct regarding embargo policies -- on both sides of the fence. I will welcome this input from the ABSW.
Kind regards, Ginger Pinholster

To Chris Pharo
(The Sun)

Dear Mr. Pharo:

Thank you for your phone call this morning. I was impressed that you seemed to be taking this matter seriously, and further that you clearly were genuinely interested in thoughtful problem-solving. As I told you today and Ms. Martina Booth yesterday, I am always happy to re-evaluate embargo-related decisions when sensibly approached in a non-threatening manner, so thanks for the kindness of your tone.

As a first note, I'd like to apologize to the heads of the NASW and the WFSJ since I have copied them on several e-mails already today, and they likely are weary of it by now. But, I'm hoping that this can be the final chapter, describing an amicable resolution.

As I told Mr. Ted Nield of the Association of British Science Writers earlier today, I would first like to emphasize that none of our embargo-related decisions are made unilaterally. I always seek input from at least one reporter-advisor before issuing a ruling, as I did in this case.

I also would like to take this opportunity to provide some broader perspective. We have been attempting to the best of our abilities to respond appropriately to a troubling spate of UK-based embargo violations. As a first step, in response to requests from key British journalists, EurekAlert! recently began a systematic audit whereby all registrants are being asked to reconfirm their current status. In addition, I sent a preemptive reminder notice to all registrants, and thus I was indeed motivated to respond swiftly and firmly to the recent episode involving the Sun.

For the record, I will provide the chronology of the recent case, from my perspective. As you know, non-registrant Mr. Paul Sutherland, being an enterprising journalist, seized upon an unmarked NASA press event invitation to prepare a teaser story related to a forthcoming, embargoed Science paper. While he was not registered with us, two other Sun reporters were in our database. Our long-standing policy, in keeping with what reporter-advisors have asked us to do, has been to revoke access for all registrants at any media outlet involved in an embargo violation. Further, upon investigation, our login records indicated that those reporters had browsed our embargoed section just prior to the appearance of Paul's story. Admittedly, this did raise my suspicions and may have further colored my decision. I would like to speedily emphasize here, however, that I have no evidence whatsoever suggesting that the two Sun registrants shared any embargoed information with Mr. Sutherland. In fact, Mr. Sutherland and one of the registrants have both stated that this absolutely was not the case. You have reaffirmed this as well, and I of course take you all at your word.

However, exacerbating matters was the fact that I did not receive any helpful response by (a) telephoning the Sun's newsroom on the night the story appeared; or by (b) emailing the two registrants to alert them to the problem and ask for their help. A night editor at the Sun seemed unconcerned, and the two Sun registrants never answered my email.

Given that we've had a prior embargo violation by the Sun, I elected to remove both registrants from access. My response had little to do with Mr. Sutherland's story -- which it's clear he developed using a source that was fair game: a NASA document that unfortunately was not marked as embargoed -- but mainly reflected the fact that the Sun's response, or lack thereof, struck me as cavalier. Also, again, I had to take into consideration the prior violation, and then put it into the perspective of all the UK-related problems we have been experiencing lately.

As a further response to the recent unpleasantness, I also of course did contact NASA to explain why routing unmarked press invitations to tabloid journalists is perhaps not in the best interests of the broader reporting community.

My understanding is that the Association of British Science Writers has now instituted an inquiry.

What I've told Mr. Nield is that I believe the ABSW, as the region's professional science journalism society, could play an extremely helpful role in clarifying codes of conduct regarding embargo policies -- on both sides of the fence. I will welcome this input from the ABSW. I further will enhance our existing reporter-advisory committee to include UK representation.

Meanwhile, after seeking and obtaining further counsel from additional reporter-advisors today, I am lifting the ban on the Sun and reinstating the two registrants. (Please give me a couple of hours to implement this process since my staff member who handles those tasks is out of the office.) By way of this e-mail, I officially acknowledge that Mr. Sutherland was never in violation, nor did I suggest this to anyone at any point in time; the ban was implemented, as I've explained, based on the lack of any positive response from the Sun, and in light of the prior violation.

Please note, based on the earlier violation, which was unambiguous, if there is any future embargo problem -- whether deliberate or accidental, between now and the end of 2009 -- I will again revoke Sun registrants' access to embargoed content on EurekAlert!. To be fair to all, and to provide equitable access to journalists in both developed and developing regions, including those with and without advanced technologies and other such resources, we must continue to take our embargo policies very seriously. Please be assured that I will not hesitate to enforce our embargo policies in the future.

I hope that you'll agree this is an amicable resolution.

Thank you again for your call. Kind regards, Ginger Pinholster

Friday, 23 January 2009

EurekAlert! lifts ban on The Sun

Breaking news....EurekAlert! has reinstated the Sun newspaper's access to embargoed material. According to Paul Sutherland, the journalist behind the 'Life on Mars' story at the centre of this controversy, EurekAlert! now accept that no embargoes were broken in writing the Sun's front page story.

ABSW Chair Writes to EurekAlert! in support of freelance member Paul Sutherland

Ted Nield, Chair of the ABSW has written today to Ginger Pinholster of the AAAS regarding EurekAlert! suspension of The Sun newspaper, for the 'Life on Mars' story written by ABSW member Paul Sutherland:

Dear Ginger,

I am writing to you in my capacity as Chair of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) to draw to your attention the concern being expressed over here about the suspension of the UK newspaper The Sun from EurekAlert’s embargoed news service, and more particularly, about the potential damage this may do to the author of the story, Paul Sutherland, who is a freelance journalist and ABSW member.

I understand that Paul wrote his story (“Life on Mars”), which was The Sun’s splash on Thursday 15, entirely from material already in the public domain, using good journalistic nous and a nose for news. We also understand that you accept that Paul’s story was written without any embargo being broken.

If this is true, it seems to me that EurekAlert is penalising The Sun merely for having got to a story first, without the help of embargoed NASA press releases. I do not think this is in the correct spirit of the proper relations between news providers and journalists. It is inevitable that other news outlets, many of which consider themselves very important, will have been dismayed by the fact that they were scooped by Paul and The Sun; but that is surely the nature of journalism and should have no bearing upon the case.

It is my view that to ban The Sun in this way is unfairly penalising that newspaper merely for being first with the story, which is doubly unfair on their other writers, particularly in the medical field who are now put at a competitive disadvantage. Finally I think this action may in some way carry an implied slur upon the professionalism of Mr Paul Sutherland, which could arguably put his career in jeopardy.

I believe it would be greatly appreciated by all if EurekAlert could make it clear that they do not hold Mr Sutherland responsible for any embargo break.

I would also urge EurekAlert to reconsider what many here think looks like a disproportionate act of petty revenge, unworthy of AAAS and EurekAlert.

This issue has once again drawn attention to the balance of power between news providers and journalists. At a recent meeting of the ASBW (AGM, Tuesday 20), we resolved to convene a working party to consider this whole area and to bring forward a draft report and recommendations for discussion at the World Conference of Science Journalism in London this year (30 June – 2 July

Ted Nield, Chair, ABSW

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Look out for expert-generated information

This one could be a double edged sword. SciTopics describes itself as "Distilled, authoritative and up-to-date information for researchers on scientific, technical and medical topics." Folks like members of the ABSW might see it as a substitute for science writing .

The press release from Elsevier, a part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, owners of such fine publications as New Scientist, until it can find someone to take it off their hands, says that the new service is "Designed as a perfect starting point for scientific research, the website integrates a content publishing platform with search functionalities and community features."

Taking a positive view, this could be invaluable for science writers seeking a crash course in a subject that they suddenly have to write about. "The site creates a starting point for researchers to gain an introductory overview of a particular scientific topic and serves as a collaboration resource where users can share their views and engage in discussions with other SciTopics members."

SciTopics has a couple of dozen RSS feeds. The "grab the lot" feed that might be worth sampling to begin with.

The feeds cover many areas that will mean a lot to science writers plus a few for less familiar subjects, such as nursing, "decision sciences" and arts and humanities.

It seems that Elsevier decided to put this release out now because this is really a rebranding Scirus Topic Pages. Scirus, "the most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web," powers the search facility behind SciTopics. This explains why the newest story in the "Most popular SciTopics pages" appeared last November. The oldest dates back to February 2008.

The RSS feed has article that are much more recent. The newest item we saw, "Scientific support to the establishment and validation of agrometeorological services" is just a day or two old.

You can even leave comments on the articles. But only after you have signed up. The handful of items I looked at were comment free.

The editors, billed on the front page, are all working scientists. Many of the authors come with the "Prof" label. Each item comes with a set of "Web search results" related to the article in question.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

So you want to be a science broadcaster?

Many youngsters who have studied science hanker after a career in the media. Several courses have sprung up to satisfy this desire. But they cost.

The Wellcome Trust, which used to fund the ABSW's own scheme of student bursaries, has stepped into the breach with new Science Media Studentships.

In this case, the support will go to "practising biomedical scientists". They will have the opportunity to study for a postgraduate qualification in Science Media Production at Imperial College London and to follow this with a six-month placement working in the broadcast industry.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Recruitment: Press & PR Officer (Science)

(University of London)

Chelsea, London

The Institute of Cancer Research is seeking a dynamic self starter with a passion for science to join our team at Europe’s leading cancer research centre. You will have experience in journalism or public relations with a proven track record in writing medical and/or science stories or press releases. The successful candidate will have excellent science and medical contacts in national UK media. You will work as part of a team to lead on generating national and international media coverage of The Institute’s world leading research.

The Institute is a College of the University of London and is a world-class cancer research organisation with HEFCE RAE ratings of international excellence across all of its research programmes.

Salary will be in the range £25,937 to £31,231 p.a. inclusive, based on skills and previous experience. This full time, permanent post also benefits from a generous annual leave entitlement and a final salary pension scheme.

To apply, please send two copies of your CV and covering letter (including the names and addresses of two referees) together with a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to the HR Office, The Institute of Cancer Research, 123 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RP quoting job Ref. A247.

Closing date: 3rd February 2009

Friday, 16 January 2009

Media fellows report back

The British Science Association, formerly the "BA," has reports from last year's wave of media fellows on its web site. The 10 fellows worked all over the media, radio, TV, newspapers and magazines. They have all filed accounts of their gruelling times.

Emma Byrne spent some time on The Financial Times, working with Clive Cookson. Emma's account shows that the scheme is good at waking scientists up to the facts of media life. She writes in her account:

"During my placement I saw a few examples of communication between the media and scientists breaking down. Most of the time this was due to the scientists not understanding the constraints under which the media operate and expecting the nuances and complexities of their work to be conveyed in a 300 word newspaper article or 30 second radio slot. This would have been exactly the type of mistake I would have made before the placement."
So that's one scientist gone back to the lab with a better view of how we work. Let's hope the message gets back to her colleagues.

Applications are now open for this year's fellowships. There are full details on the BSA's shiny new web site.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Royal Society awards for engaging the public with science

The closing date for nominations for the Royal Society Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize is 23 February 2009.

The Cohn award is for "UK-based early-career scientists or science communicators who have undertaken high-quality public engagement activities which has had (or will have) a strategic impact on institutions, organisations and cultures, and whose career and future public engagement activities will benefit from the award".

The Faraday gong, "the UK's premier award for science communication," goes to "the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary".

ABSW members might qualify for the first award. (Has a professional communicator, as opposed to a "slumming boffin," ever taken home the bacon?) They may also know someone they would like to nominate for their spot in this year's Faraday cage.

Start here for links to pages with full details of these and all the other awards that the Royal Society hands out.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Recruitment: SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

Applications are invited for the position of Director of Communications for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). IGBP is an international research programme that provides scientific knowledge about the Earth System in response to the challenges of global sustainability ( Its 9-person Secretariat is hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

The Communications Director will direct the communications efforts of IGBP, including internal communications amongst IGBP projects and project scientists, and outward communications with the wider science community, the education sector, policy makers, the media and the public. A key function of the Communications Director is to assist IGBP in generating and communicating impartial, policy-relevant science, through a wide range of products and processes (e.g., Global Change Newsletter, email bulletin, website, annual report, press releases). See for position announcement and the IGBP Science Communication Strategy. The Communications Director will oversee a small communications team.

The successful candidate will have:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, and experience in science communications or science journalism;
  • experience in effectively translating the results of scientific research into forms appropriate for a range of different audiences including policy makers, educators, the media and the general public;
  • experience leading and working within a team, and coordinating a portfolio of communication activities;
  • ability to initiate and manage a large and complex workload to tight deadlines and be responsible for communications outcomes;
  • demonstrated experience in planning and implementing media campaigns;
    experience writing for the web and with web content management systems;
  • highly developed interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • supervisory experience
  • willingness to undertake occasional international travel.

Desirable skills:

  • experience refining and guiding the implementation of a long-term science communication strategy for a large and diverse international scientific network;
  • have an understanding of, and interest in, global environmental change issues;
  • some science background and an appreciation of the scientific process, and the interface between natural and social sciences;
  • non-profit fundraising experience.

The Director of Communications will be appointed initially for a 3-year period, will be an employee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and will report to the IGBP Executive Director. The salary will be based on the salary structure of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (roughly equivalent to Swedish academic salary structure) and will consider the qualifications and experience of the candidate. To apply send: CV, a supporting statement of no more than 500 words, names and contact information for 3 references, and 3 examples of work that reflect your communication ability, to Charlotte Boss-Wilson at Review of applications will begin on 30 January 2009.