Summer School

The following nominations have been received for the ABSW Executive Board Elections 2016.   None of the posts are contested so the nominations will all be taken to the AGM (Thursday 7 April ) for approval.   Full details of the ABSW's annual election process can be found on our website.

President

Martin Ince (currently ABSW President - seeking re-election)

I would very much like your support to take on my third and last full year as President. The ABSW has just completed the most extraordinary year of its existence, and has been subject to pressures far beyond those it is reasonable to place on a small organisation of this kind. I shall report fully on this sequence of events to the AGM. But despite these issues, we have succeeded in growing the association and in developing new activities such as Summer School, held for the first time during 2015. We have launched the European Science Journalist of the Year award, and will run it again as part of a steady process of enhancing our awards as a way of recognising great science writing. In addition, we have continued our joint working with the Ugandan Science Journalists' Association in ways that have benefited both organisations. In the coming year our European commitments will come to the fore with the arrival of ESOF in Manchester in July. Alongside this event, we are running the European Conference of Science Journalists, a joint venture with the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations. It's on July 23. As well as being an important meeting on the European stage, it will be the first major ABSW event to be held outside London. The message, I think, is that the current ABSW board is an effective, innovative and successful one. I'd very much like to continue to serve you all as president, in the hope that this record of shared achievement can be developed yet further. * In my working life as a writer and commentator on science and higher education, I am just starting work on Drift, a book on Earth history. So consider your Christmas present problems solved for 2017.

Nominated by Wendy Barnaby & Aisling Irwin

Vice-President

Mico Tatalovic (currently ABSW Vice-President - seeking re-election)

I have been on the ABSW committee for a few years now, most recently as vice-president, a role I would like to stay in for another year. It’s an exciting time. We are organising a growing number of events and awards, and our international standing is also on the rise. We’ve started a very popular summer school which we hope to continue as a regular event. I played a key role in initiating and organising that school, and pushing for it to become a regular event. I have also helped set up an online mentorship programme for our student/early career members. Our next UKCSJ is going to be in Manchester to coincide with ESOF, a major European science event. As such the UKCSJ is extending its reach to become a European Conference for Science Journalists, where we hope to exchange experiences and skills with our colleagues from across Europe. I am now busy working with the programme committee to make the sessions as relevant and exciting as possible. It promises to be the best ECSJ so far. We have also launched a new award for the Best European Science Writer of the Year, which we hope to continue. Both of these show our growing role on the international stage and as EUSJA is going through reforms and a new body EFSJ starts to take shape, we will no doubt be in a position to influence and improve the state of science writing not just in the UK, but also in Europe. I hope to enable ABSW to get the most out of such involvement, and out of its twinned association in Uganda. Indeed, I have helped keep on the agenda our role in twinning with USJA and how we can ensure that twinning benefits all parties. Another thing to do in the coming year will be to finally redesign our controversial logo, which seems to be disliked by many. So, if I get reelected, I hope to help organise the best UKSCJ so far; work towards an even better summer school for next year; push for the best possible deal with our membership in the two Europe-wide science journalism bodies; help keep improving our regular events – along the lines of the one we held in September on ‘New science journalism – reporting beyond the traditional media’; and get more support for investigative science journalism.

Nominated by Martin Ince & Wendy Grossman

 

Secretary

Aisling Irwin (not currently on the ABSW Board)

I've been a science journalist for over 20 years, with experience in staff jobs on daily and weekly papers, trade and specialist publications, and also as a freelance contributing to all of these. I've also worked overseas, mostly filing to British publications, and have been involved in training & mentoring science journalists in the developing world, through my work as news editor on SciDev.Net. I've won a few science writing prizes in the distant past, and I have a degree in Chemistry and a masters in the History and Philosophy of Science.

Nominated by Mico Tatalovic & Martin Ince

European Representative

Connie St Louis (currently ABSW European Representative - seeking re-election)

Over the last year I have continued to work on behalf of the ABSW with other European Associations to form a new European Federation of Science Journalism (EFSJ). You may remember at the last AGM; the ABSW board was given a mandate by members to leave EUSJA, which was not fit for purpose in the areas of governance and finance. During the year preparations have been made create to a European Federation of Science Journalism. The Swiss and Dutch Association have also left EUSJA and a number of other associations including Italy, Germany will be asking their members to join to become founding members of this new federation. It is hoped that the ABSW membership will support plans to continue with this new formation.

Nominated by Victoria Parsons & Jack Serle

General Executive Board Member Posts (7 available)

Wendy Grossman (currently ABSW Board member - seeking re-election)

I am a long-time board member originally coopted to assist with the adoption of new technologies such as the website. I help represent ABSW in the Creators Rights Alliance and generally contribute ideas and problem-solving.

Nominated by Mico Tatalovic & Martin Ince

Jack Serle (currently co-opted ABSW Board member - seeking election)

I have been a co-opted member of the board for the past 11 months during which time I have helped the Association weather a challenging period. I have brought governance experience from my position as a trustee of a large charitable trust. And I have contributed to the board's from a slightly removed perspective: I have a science degree and some experience of working as a science journalist, but I am currently working as a general journalist.

Katharine Sanderson (currently ABSW Board member - seeking re-election)

I have been on the ABSW board for two years and would like to continue the work I've put in so far. During my time on the board, we've run the first ABSW summer school, put on some thought-provoking events and dealt with some challenging situations. I'm currently assistant news editor at Nature, and have also worked as a freelance reporter and on staff as a reporter Nature and Chemistry World.

Nominated by Bea Perks & Richard Van Noorden

Victoria Parsons (currently ABSW Treasurer - seeking re-election as a general Board member)

I've been Treasurer for the last year, but due time pressures at my job I'm standing down as I've been unable to do the role justice. I'd like to remain a general board member to continue helping the organisation with it's excellent work promoting and encouraging science journalism in the UK.

Nominated by Martin Ince & Jack Serle

Emma Stoye (not currently on the ABSW Board)

The ABSW has always been a supportive and inclusive group, and over the last few years I have benefitted hugely from membership – joining was one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given when I was starting out! For early-career scicommers – as well as more established members – the ABSW is a fantastic community to be part of. Now I would really like to take the chance to give something back and support its continued development. I am currently a science correspondent at Chemistry World, a specialist science magazine published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Prior to that I worked in different departments across the RSC, including in science policy, membership recruitment and communications teams – so I have some insight into the inner workings of a members’ organisation. I am particularly keen to get involved in running ABSW events and activities. I have been to a couple of events run by the ABSW and they have been interesting and well attended – it would be great to have more. I think members will welcome further opportunities for networking and discussing issues affecting science communication and journalism.

Nominated by Mico Tatalovic & Martin Ince

Lou del Bello (not currently on the ABSW Board)

I have been working as a journalist for more than 10 years and joined the ABSW when I came to the UK in 2013. After two years as an active member, I am now willing to throw myself fully into the life of the association and feel I have the skills, experience and maturity to make a positive contribution to the board. I work at SciDev.Net as a multimedia editor, reporter and producer, and I am passionate about digital journalism and international science. During my career I have dealt with a variety of issues, ranging from environment to general news, before deciding to focus on science and international development. Back in my home country I was the founder of an online magazine which I ran for four years, learning to be an entrepreneur as well as an editor. I would love to put my broad experience and my people skills to new use with the ABSW. Over the coming year and beyond I would like to take part in the association’s activities stimulating a conversation around innovation in science journalism, the use of social media and interactive storytelling. I would also like to expand the debate on how to support budding freelancers who are starting out, and work to promote investigative science journalism even further, building on the experience of the previous years. What makes my profile unique, and I hope useful to the organisation’s mission, is my deep understanding of the online world and a strong international outlook. Working with journalists from the developing world has taught me what it takes to build a digital culture starting from a low tech environment, and how this can be critical to improving public awareness and understanding of difficult science or data stories. I believe that the challenges currently faced by the ABSW can be an important opportunity for evolution, and for a reflection on what could make the association stronger and more appealing to a greater number of science journalists. It would be an honour to contribute to the advancement of the ABSW with a fresh perspective on the challenges of journalism at a time when the ever-evolving digital medium makes it imperative to rethink the way we tell stories.

Nominated by Mico Tatalovic & Victoria Parsons

Cristina Gallardo (not currently on the ABSW Board)

I am a science policy reporter, passionate about journalism and ethics, currently working at Research Fortnight. My background is in journalism: I've got an undergraduate degree from the Complutense University of Madrid and a masters degree in science journalism from City University London. I've worked for international news agencies, radio, online media and print publications–as an in-house journalist and as a freelancer, so I can say that I'm familiar with the joys and drawbacks of both types of professionals. In 2013 I spent five months working at the European Parliament's Directorate General for Communication in Brussels. During my time there, I gained a deep understanding of the European Union and met lots of politicians, scientists and journalists from all around Europe. Part of my work consisted on helping to organise media events and seminars. I think this experience will be very valuable in helping the ABSW in their international relationships and activities. I'm interested in the intersections between science journalism, science writing and public relations, and in building constructive links between professionals in the three fields. I am also interested in promoting discussions about what makes good, high-quality journalism as well as in boosting recent graduates' job opportunities.

Nominated by Mico Tatalovic & Martin Ince