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Events

Although science writing is in our name, the ABSW also represents tech and engineering journalists and writers. We’d like to address this portion of our membership more actively by tweaking some of our existing activities and/or creating new ones. This meeting is intended to identify what the differences are in the interests of the existing tech/engineering membership (and the many potential members out there), use them to form some specific proposals, and prioritise these for the main ABSW Board. 

This event is open to all not just ABSW members.

6-8pm, Tuesday 5 September, UCL Main Campus

If you’re interested in attending, please e-mail Dr Sunny Bains This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be chairing this meeting.

An ABSW Event: Exclusives and how to get them

Who doesn't want to land the big scoops? Those stories that really matter, the stories that people in power don't want told and your competitors will give their back teeth to get ahead of you. But how do you find and report out a big exclusive? Come along to ABSW's next evening event and learn from some of the best how they found and developed big stories that made an impact.

We have two seasoned reporters,  one winner and one finalist for the best investigative journalism award at the ABSW Science Writers Awards for Britain and Ireland 2017, ready to talk to you about how they found their exclusives and what made them so valuable to report. This panel discussion will be followed with an open Q&A session and a trip to the pub after. 

Registration is now closed for the ABSW Science Journalism Summer School 2017

Wednesday 5 July 2017
Summer School: 09:00-17:45 
Evening careers/networking event open to all delegates 17:45-20:30
Venue: The Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE 

Programme

Delegate fees:

ABSW Student Member: £15 inc VAT
ABSW Member (all other categories): £30 inc VAT
All others: £100 inc VAT

Your delegate fees include all materials, lunch/tea/coffee and drinks and canapes at the evening event.

Register and Pay Now (Registration now closed)

If you wish to join the ABSW and pay the reduced ABSW delegate rate there is a special offer of 50% off ABSW membership rates for those attending the Summer School.

Among engineers, it is conventional wisdom that engineering is badly served by broadcasters and the press: especially when its coverage is compared to that of science and medicine. This, it is said, contributes to the shortage of young engineering talent coming through the UK system. At this panel discussion, organised by UCL and the Association of British Science Writers, we will focus on how the media works, why engineering ends up being neglected (if that’s true), and how engineers can help to ensure their subject is communicated better. Among the issues we expect to discuss are: novelty (if the proof-of-concept was written up, is the engineering prototype old news?); secrecy (is it a story if the 'what' is revealed but not the 'how'?); jargon (the significance of the work is hidden by technical language); competition (engineers won’t give quotes praising the work of those from other companies); and PR (journalists suspicious of stories from press releases).

ABSW Science Journalism Summer School 2017: a one-day event to kick-start or reinvigorate your career in science journalism

In association with the World Federation of Science Journalists

Held on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at The Wellcome Trust

Coverage/Archive

Session audio, video, reviews, powerpoints and resources

Search for all the coverage on twitter: #abswss17

Programme: 

For more on the speakers visit our speaker biographies page

Time                  Session
09:00-09:30 Coffee and registration
09:30-09:35    Welcome and introduction, Pallab Ghosh, Honorary President, ABSW and science correspondent for BBC
09:35-10:05

New media trends
 
Where are our audiences? The latest insights about digital news consumption from the Digital News Report 2017
 
Nic Newman, research associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and lead author of the digital news report

Moderator: Martin Ince, Treasurer, ABSW board and freelance science writer

10:05-10:45

The role of critical science journalism in the fake news world

Alok Jha, Science Correspondent, ITV 

Moderator: Pallab Ghosh, Honorary President, ABSW and science correspondent for BBC

10:45-11:15 Coffee/Tea Break
11:15-12:15

Pitching skills - how and where to sell you story ideas
 
Take part in a highly interactive session to develop your pitching skills. Whether you are pitching as a staff journalist or a freelancer you need to learn how to make an editor take notice of your stories pitch - and what makes a perfect pitch.
 
Inga Vesper, freelance science journalist
Aisling Irwin, acting editor, SciDev.Net
Laura Greenhalgh, assistant policy editor, Politico
Helen Thomson, freelance science journalist and consultant for New Scientist
Joshua Howgego, features editor at New Scientist


Moderator: Mico Tatalovic, Chair, ABSW board and Environment and Life Sciences News Editor, New Scientist

12:15-13:15

Investigative science reporting
 
Investigative journalism presents a unique set of challenges for science journalists. Key issues being time, gaining access to information and fighting off legal threats. Learn the how and why of telling stories that others are trying to bury in this two-part session:
 
12.15 – 12.45 ‘Why investigative journalism matters, with examples from science’ by Rachel Oldroyd, managing editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
 
12.45-13.15 ‘How we uncovered Google Deep Mind's secret NHS data grab’ by Hal Hodson, technology reporter at the Economist (previously New Scientist), and Will Douglas Heaven, freelance (previously chief technology editor at New Scientist and editor of BBC Future Now). They will talk about their scoop for New Scientist and challenges of doing investigations and taking on a big player alongside their usual news work 
 
Moderator: Jack Serle, Vice-Chair, ABSW board and reporter Bureau of Investigative Journalism

13:15-14:30 Lunch and networking
14:30-15:30

Data journalism skills
 
Discover sources of open data and how to work with it using techniques such as visualisation, scraping and mapping.
 
Jonathan Stoneman, Freelance trainer in Open Data
 
Moderator: Wendy Grossman, ABSW board member and freelance journalist

15:30-15:50

EurekAlert!’s science news service and media survey results

Brian Lin, director of editorial content strategy at EurekAlert! will introduce EurekAlert! and its editorial policies, explain how you can get access to it, and present results from its latest survey of science journalists

Moderator: Mico Tatalovic, Chair, ABSW board and Environment and Life Sciences News Editor, New Scientist

15:50-16:20 Tea Break
16:20-17:20

Successful freelancing
 
You might be considering some freelance work as part of your other work commitments or thinking about making freelance work your main source of income. Freelance science journalists will discuss sources of work, original approaches, carving out niche areas of specialisation, copyright issues and the tools that they use to manage their time.
 
Mark Peplow, freelance science journalist
Max Glaskin, an award-winning journalist and the author of Cycling Science
Inga Vesper, freelance science journalist
 
Moderator: Jack Serle, Vice-Chair, ABSW board and reporter Bureau of Investigative Journalism

17:30 - 21:00 Meet commissioning editors, pitch your stories and get career advice from seasoned reporters

This networking session will allow you to get bespoke careers advice from journalists and editors in the national and international media. You’ll have the opportunity to sit across the table from some of the key science editors and reporters, and have their full, undivided attention, be it to pitch story ideas or ask them any career questions you may have.

A stellar array of editors and writers from a variety of international media will be on hand to give you one-to-one personalised advice about how to make it as a science journalist, and give feedback on story ideas you have.


Editors and reporters you can speak to will include:
 
Chrissie Giles, commissioning editor, Mosaic
Vicki Turk, senior editor at Wired UK
Michael Marshall, former acting editor at BBC Earth, now freelance
Mico Tatalovic, environment and life sciences news editor, New Scientist
Ben Deighton, managing editor at SciDev.Net
Shamini Bundell, multimedia editor at Nature (from 18:20h onwards)
Emma Stoye, senior science correspondent at Chemistry World
Inga Vesper, senior editor, Research Research (until 19h)
Max Glaskin, an award-winning journalist and the author of Cycling Science
Martin Redfern, freelance broadcast science journalist
 
Moderator: Bob Ward, ABSW board member, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics

For more on the speakers visit our speaker biographies page


Our Supporters

The ABSW would like to thank The Wellcome Trust for venue support.

Lead Partner:

 

 

Evening Careers Event:

 

Student Scholarships:

 

Literature:

 

 

In association with:

 


 

***Please note the event date has now moved to Wed 3 May (previously Wed 26 April)***

The ABSW has organised an evening event with journalist Meirion Jones from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (formerly of the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama) on one of the most shocking tech-based scandals to break in recent years – the fake bomb detector scam that saw completely useless devices sold to governments around the world.

Whether you want to learn from the very best, get inspiration for investigations or just make your very own bogus bomb detector, it promises to be a great evening.

ABSW AGM 2017

AGENDA

Download a PDF of the Agenda

Date and time: Thursday 30 March 2017 18:30 for 19:00 start 

Venue: The First Class Lounge, The Parcel Yard, King's Cross Station, London, N1C 4AH
Please note the venue is inside the station at the far end of station concourse (closest reference point the Harry Potter Shop and Platform 9&3/4s)

All ABSW members are invited to the traditional late Xmas party.

When: Thursday 26th January 18:30 until late

Are you an aspiring science journalist? If so, would you like some free bespoke careers advice from journalists in the national media?

If your answer is “Yes!” to both questions, then you cannot afford to miss an exclusive event organised by the Association of British Science Writers on Wednesday 2 November.

Michael Hanlon former science editor of the Daily Mail sadly died earlier this month.

Friends, family and colleagues have come together to organise a celebration of Michael’s life and work. Everyone who knew Michael is welcome - whether that’s as a friend, colleague or just someone you kept bumping into at press briefings or conferences.

Friday 11 March
6pm-8pm
The Wellcome Trust
215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Please RSVP to:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The evening will include tributes and readings from close friends. If you would like to discuss speaking at the event, please email Tracey Brown:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A booklet to celebrate Michael’s life is being compiled – which will be given out on the night – and contributions of stories, anecdotes, pictures and memories are welcome. Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or direct to Richard Hollingham by March 2nd This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more on Michael's work see the website of Jurassica of which he was the founder and CEO http://www.jurassica.org/

 

 

ABSW Calendar

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EurekAlert!

EurekAlert

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