ABSW Science Journalism Summer School: a one day event to kick start or reinvigorate your career in science journalism #sjss15

Thursday 25 June 2015, London, The Royal Society, London 

 

Programme #sjss15
 

*Where available powerpoints/further resources are linked to speakers/sessions*

 
09:00 Coffee and registration
 
09.25 -09:30 Welcome and introduction
 
Martin Ince, President, ABSW and freelance science journalist
 
9.30 – 10.30 What’s special about science journalism: the basics
What are the special skills needed in science journalism?  A journey through the practicalities of science journalism including: embargoes, research papers, the research process, ethics and more.  
 
Connie St Louis, Director, MA Science Journalism, City University, London and European Representative ABSW Board
 
10.30 – 11.30 Investigative science journalism
Investigative science journalism presents a further set of challenges for science journalists.   Key issues being time, and gaining access to information.   Learn the how and why of telling stories that others are trying to bury.
 
Deborah Cohen, Investigations Editor, BMJ 
 
Moderator: Victoria Parsons, Treasurer, ABSW Board and reporter Bureau of Investigative Journalism
 
11.30 – 11.50 Coffee/tea break
 
11.50 – 12.50 Open Data 
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
 
12.50 – 14.15 Lunch
 
14.15 – 15.15 Pitching skills 
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.
 
Inga Vesper, Global News and Features Editor, SciDev.net
Laura Greenhalgh, News Editor, Research Europe
 
Moderator: Mico Tatalovic, Vice President ABSW Board and Environment News Editor New Scientist
15.15 – 16:15 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, copyright issues and the tools that they use to manage their time.
 
Mark Peplow, Freelance Science Journalist
Anjana Ahuja, Freelance Science Journalist
Sue Nelson, Boffin Media
 
Moderator: Katharine Sanderson, Member ABSW Board and freelance science journalist 
 
16:15 – 16.35 Coffee/tea break
 
16.35 – 17:35 Meet the Editors 
A panel of commissioning editors will outline their editorial priorities and direction.  Get an insight into the minds of editors, and a chance to network with those who could commission your stories.  NB: there will be time at the end of the conference for you to introduce yourself and chat with the editors on the panel
 
Helen Pearson, Chief Features Editor, Nature
Will Douglas Heaven, Feature Editor, New Scientist
Inga Vesper, Global News and Features Editor, SciDev.net
Kelly Oakes, Science Editor, Buzzfeed
Chrissie Giles, Commissioning Editor, Mosaic 
 
Moderator: Martin Ince, President ABSW Board and freelance science journalist
 
17:35 - 18:00 Evaluation/round up/networking/social
The ABSW would like to thank The Royal Society for venue suppport
 

Biographies

Jonathan Stoneman
Jonathan Stoneman worked for the BBC for 20 years as researcher, producer, reporter, editor and finally Head of Training at World Service. Specialising mainly in central and eastern Europe, Jonathan reported for World Service from virtually every country of the former Warsaw Pact in the 1990s, before moving on to run the Macedonian and then the Croatian language services. After commuting to Zagreb for several years, Jonathan decided to move into training. In an innovative job-share, Jonathan ran a training team dedicated to the needs of BBC World Service staff. In 2010 Jonathan decided to leave the BBC and become a freelance trainer. Since then he has worked increasingly with data – re-learning MS Excel as a journalistic tool as an introduction to the growing world of datajournalism, and the Open Data movement. Tracking the use of Open Data and learning new techniques to make the most of it has become something between an obsession and a hobby.  Jonathan enjoys nothing more than travelling around Britain, the USA and Europe introducing journalists to the wonders of Open Data.When not sitting in front of a computer screen, or sitting on a plane or train, Jonathan enjoys playing the French Horn, or flying his glider over the Devon countryside.
 
Helen Pearson
Helen commissions, edits and oversees Nature's features section. She has been writing and editing for Nature for fourteen years and specialises in long-form journalism in all areas of science. Her own feature stories have won accolades including the Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award and the best feature award from the Association of British Science Writers. Her first book, Lessons of a Lifetime, will be published by Penguin in early 2016. Helen has a degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge, a PhD in genetics and spent eight of her years with Nature in New York.
 
Mark Peplow
Mark Peplow turned freelance in January 2013, following more than four years as the chief news editor at Nature magazine. Before that he was the editor of Chemistry World magazine from 2006 to 2008, an online reporter at Nature from 2004 to 2006, and the Science Media Centre’s science information officer from 2002 to 2004. He has a PhD in chemistry and an MSc in science communication, both from Imperial College London. Read more at http://markpeplow.com/ 
 
Sue Nelson
Sue Nelson is a director of Boffin Media, a production company specialising in science, space and the environment. The company’s work includes making programmes for Radio 4, producing podcasts, specialist magazines and short films. It also provides media and presentation training. Sue has freelanced on science for 5 Live, Radio 4 and most national newspapers. She is editor of The Biologist and a former BBC science correspondent.
 
Anjana Ahuja
Anjana Ahuja is a contributing writer on science for the FT. She was previously a feature writer and columnist at The Times. She also contributes to BBC Newsnight, Daily Telegraph, Prospect and Radio Times. She is co-author of Selected, on the evolution of human leadership, and was named best science commentator in the 2013 Comment Awards. She made her first BBC Radio 4 documentary this year.  
Anjana has a PhD in space physics from Imperial College London, and is a visiting lecturer in science journalism at City University in London. Twitter: @anjahuja
 
Laura Greenhalgh
Laura Greenhalgh is news editor at Research Europe, with a strong interest in European research policy. As well as overseeing the news agenda she writes about Horizon 2020, science advice and the UK's place in Europe. Laura has a degree in biological sciences from Cambridge University and a masters degree in science communication from Imperial College London. She joined Research Europe in 2012, before which she wrote for the publications Chemical Watch and Cosmos.
 
Inga Vesper
Inga is the global news and features editor for SciDev.Net. She is responsible for commissioning, managing and editing the global edition’s news output, and involved in planning the organisation’s broader editorial agenda. Inga holds a BA in Journalism and Psychology, and an MSc in Climate Change Management – with particular focus on energy policy in the Arabic world. Before joining SciDev.Net, she stalked the conference halls and corridors of Brussels as news editor for Research Europe, a magazine about European research policy.
 
Katharine Sanderson
After finishing her PhD in chemistry, Katharine began her journalism career at Chemistry World. She then spent several years as a reporter with Nature. An opportunity to live in another country prompted her to turn to freelance journalism.
 
Kelly Oakes
Kelly Oakes is Science Editor at BuzzFeed. She used to write a column for BBC Focus magazine and a blog for Scientific American, and has degrees in Physics and Science Communication, both from Imperial College London.
 
Victoria Parsons
Victoria Parsons joined the Bureau of Investigative Journalism after completing an MA in science journalism, in which she gained a distinction. She is on the executive board of the Association of British Science Writers and previously worked as an investigative researcher at Request Initiative.
 
Chrissie Giles
Chrissie Giles studied biochemistry at the University of Leeds and completed a Master’s in science communication in 2003. Her editorial career began in a medical communications agency and, via a brief stint in the heady world of motor caravan journalism, she now writes and edits stories on biology and medicine for the Wellcome Trust. She is a Commissioning Editor for Mosaic, the Trust's longform publication.
 
Mico Tatalovic

Mićo Tatalović is environment and life sciences news editor at New Scientist magazine. Previously he worked as news editor at SciDev.Net (Science and Development Network). He is vice president of the of the Association of British Science Writers and is also actively involved in improving science journalism in the Balkans and beyond.

Will Douglas Heaven

Will is a features editor at New Scientist, mainly (but not exclusively) covering technology. He was previously a news reporter for the magazine and runner up for ABSW's best newcomer award in 2013. Before becoming a journalist, Will was a researcher at UCL and Imperial College London. He has a PhD in Computer Science from Imperial plus masters degrees in Science Communication and Philosophy.  

 

 
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