Martin's Update: January 2015
Here is my regular update on the issues discussed at our latest ABSW Board meeting:
Membership of the ABSW
It’s that time of year again when we ask you to renew your membership. Many thanks to those of you who have already renewed. At the end of January we will update our records and send confirmation of membership to you all, and a friendly reminder to those who have yet to pay.
Membership of the ABSW is the sign that you are a serious member of this profession, and lets you connect to other science journalists, writers and communications professionals as well as to events and to training and work opportunities. Nearly 100 new members joined last year. I do hope you will renew your membership, and take an active part in your association this year.
ABSW Board Elections
One way to become more involved is to consider standing for the ABSW Board. Nominations are now open until 23 February for Board membership and for our various officer posts. I have already thrown my hat in the ring to stand for a further term as President. Full details of the posts available, the responsibilities and likely workload are all on the website along with links to the nomination form. So do please consider joining the Board in 2015. You don’t have to be in London for the meetings. We have finally managed to get Skype and other technology for remote participation. http://www.absw.org.uk/about-us/executive-board-election-process-2014.html
Sexism in Science Journalism
Last year the ABSW commissioned research into the issue of sexism in science journalism. The subject was also discussed in the opening plenary session of last year’s UK Conference of Science Journalists. Video, audio and reviews of this session are all available in our UKCSJ archive, http://www.ukcsj.org/edition-2014/sexism-in-science-plenary.html The Board is eagerly awaiting the final report from this research in order to assess what actions might be usefully taken by the ABSW, in conjunction with bodies such as the NUJ, to tackle sexism in science journalism.
Investigative Science Journalism
The Board developed and promoted an Investigative Science Journalism Fellowship scheme last year, and put aside funds to pay for it. So we were disappointed to find that no applications were received. Connie St Louis has been exploring why, and will soon be publishing an article on the issue that will let us promote the more scheme widely. For further details and to apply, please visit the website: http://www.absw.org.uk/news-and-events/absw-news/absw-investigative-science-journalism-fellowship.html
ABSW Summer School
Press Cards for ABSW members
The ABSW is finally making progress towards issuing members with press credentials via one of a number of official issuers. Many of you already have such credentials gained through your employer or the NUJ, but other members have told us that an ABSW card would be extremely valuable to them. I am working with Board member Wendy Grossman and the UK Press Card Authority to determine costs and processes for ABSW members to receive this benefit, and will keep you updated on progress.
Saturday 31 January – membership fees for 2015 should have been paid
Wednesday 11 February – ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland open for entry
Monday 23 February - nominations for ABSW Board close
Friday 27 February – nominations close for British candidate for European Science Writer of the Year
Week beginning 2 March 2015 – online voting for contested Board posts commences
Wednesday 18 March - ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland close for entry
Thursday 26 March – AGM venue tbc (London)
For more on all these, visit our website www.absw.org.uk. And while there, don’t forget to transplant the ABSW button to your own corner of cyberspace. Even with my html skills, it only took a moment, and it looks great.
President of the ABSW