How to write opinion articles - two-day workshop 25/26 April, Imperial College London

This is an intensive two-day workshop aimed at writers, academics and policy researchers/analysts who want to learn how to pitch and write opinion/analysis articles for publication. The emphasis will be on basic knowledge and practical skills.

Monday 8 July 2019, University College London

  • Considering a career in science journalism?
  • Taken a career break and want to get back into the field?
  • Thinking of moving to the science or tech beat?

Gain new skills and insights and get the chance to network with key editors and journalists at the Association of British Science Writers Science & Technology Journalism Summer School.

The summer school is an official satellite event of the WCSJ2019. School registrants will also get a 100 Swiss francs refund on their registration fee for the WCSJ19, in addition to any discounts.

Register here to be the first to know when our programme and registration go live.

Registration will be significantly discounted for ABSW members - find out about the benefits of membership and join today.

The ABSW, UCL and EurekAlert! - supporting and developing the next generation of science journalists. 

Find out more about our previous Science Journalism Summer Schools held in 2017 and 2015.

EurekAlert! is the ABSW's professional development partner and supports all ABSW professional development events.


10:00-17:00, Tuesday March 12, 2019

The Conservatory, Duke Studios, No 3 Sheaf St, LEEDS, LS10 1HD

Cost: £100 inc VAT for ABSW members (you can join to attend - just complete the registration form for this course and pay for your membership and training course in all in one payment, then complete our membership application form).

Dr Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Did you miss this ABSW and Science Museum event, would you like to know more? 

Board member and organiser of the event Bob Ward has written a blog post on the event along with a full audio recording.

ABSW member Alison Cooper has also provided a brief review:



Dr Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser outlined his vision and priorities for science, within the current international climate.

Science relies on international collaboration across the world.  The UK ‘punches above its weight’ in terms of research output.  Brexit presents a risk of the scientific community not being open to individuals, and these interactions are essential.  He will aim to keep the UK as close as possible to EU research initiatives, whatever happens.

Globally scaled case studies can demonstrate the UK’s contribution e.g the ‘Ebola Crisis in Conga’ gives insight into how vaccines work in a real situation.  This is under reported because of war.

There are exciting developments in genetic editing, such as CRISPR babies and germ line therapy, for example to treat HIV.  It is important to bear in mind, there may be off target, unintended, ‘late effects’ that can’t be known for many years.  Preventative therapy is a big step if a person may not be at risk.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a disruptive technology.  There are some areas where it could be beneficial, such as finding patterns in data, and opportunities to look at processes.   Public expectations about AI, for example replacing people in jobs, present a danger of it not being used when it could be effective and save time.  We should resist this, recognise potential biases, regulate, and aim to improve it for the NHS.   Increasing the diversity of algorithm builders and coders is important.  

Information from NHS and stored in the Biobanks positions the UK ahead in international research. He wants to ensure that use of public data benefits the NHS.  

The newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), previously RCUK, has an influential agenda for multidisciplinary research.  This is needed for translational research (route to public/patients).   Gaps in the funding landscape need to be addressed, to resource all parts of the pipeline, recognising research is not a linear process.   This includes support for fundamental, ‘blue skies’ research. The pull through to innovation (products) needs strengthening and could make use of Systems Engineering Processes, with a move towards an ‘investment’ rather than ‘grants’ culture.

He is fascinated by the potential for emerging data visualisation tools.  These can transform policy decision making. 

He recognised the importance of supporting diverse career pathways for opportunities in science and to consider broader practical and people implications for research.

Here's how we promoted the event:


Would you like to know how Brexit will affect British science? Or the threats that antimicrobial resistance and climate change pose to the UK? Or the impact of the UKRI/research council shake up? Or how we should manage the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence? 

These are some of the searching questions that you could ask Dr Patrick Vallance in one of his first public outings as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government.
Dr Vallance took up his new post in April 2018 following a distinguished career in medical research and the pharmaceuticals industry, including a period as President of Research and Development at GlaxoSmithKline.
In a unique appearance at the Science Museum's Lates, Dr Vallance will begin by outlining his priorities before being quizzed by Dr Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Museum, and former editor of New Scientist and science editor of The Daily Telegraph, and will also take questions from the audience.
If you are a member of the Association of British Science Writers and want to hear answers from the UK Government’s top scientist, without the intervention of a spin doctor, then join us at the Science Museum on Wednesday 28 November.

Is January looking like one long, dark, cold and empty month? 

Fear not, every year the ABSW misses the deadline, and holds its Christmas Party in January.

So come and join us for some free drinks and bar snacks and a chance to catch up with colleagues old and new.

Wednesday 9 January 18:30 til late

The Station Master's Office, The Parcel Yard, King's Cross Station

What’s the role of science in informing social and personal choices in an era of ‘alternative facts’? Do emotions and worldviews have a place in our ability to decipher what we see as the truth?

The ABSW held a panel discussion around these issues on September 14th in the city of Hull, as part of this year’s British Science Festival.

It explored how science can respond to the ongoing crisis of ‘truth’ and better inform our lives.

STEMPRA-ABSW-MJA summer social

When: 18:00 on Thursday 23 August 2018

Where: The Edinboro Castle, 57 Mornington Terrace, London, NW1 7RU

Join us for a well-deserved drink and a chance to mingle with like-minded folks from Stempra (the informal network of science PR, comms and media professionals) and the Medical Journalists’ Association (MJA).

This is a members' event but you can of course join the ABSW in order to attend.


Join the ABSW for Finding truth: is science enough? Part of the British Science Festival in Hull


Friday14 September 2018 15:00 – 16:00
Lecture Theatre 2, Allam Medical Building, University of Hull

Organised by:
Association of British Science Writers
Suitable for: 16+

Science helps us stay informed and make decisions about things like climate change and vaccinations. But in a ‘post-truth’ era of ‘alternative facts’, is scientific ‘fact’ facing its limitations? Join a panel of experts to discuss whether evidence alone is enough, or if emotions and worldviews have a more significant role in our ability to decipher what we see as the truth. 

This event is free and open to the public

Book tickets

With thanks to Board member Anita Makri for organising this event


ABSW Calendar

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EurekAlert! is the ABSW's professional development partner and supports all ABSW professional development and training events.