Created on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:21
Nominations for the Executive Board 2014
The following nominations have been received (by clicking on each individual you will be taken to their supporting statements and details of their nominators):
Board Member (up to seven posts available):
None of the above posts are therefore contested and there are no candidates for the posts of Vice President or Secretary. There is no specific guidance in the ABSW Standing Orders
regarding procedure where posts are not contested nor nominations received, however the current Executive Board and the appointed Election Tellers, have agreed that the nominations should be presented to the AGM to be ratified. They have then agreed that at the first meeting of the new Executive Board, after the AGM, the Board will consider how best to fill the vacant posts of Vice President and Secretary, either from the existing Board members or by co-opting Board members.
Details of the election proceedure 2014 are here.
Nominators: Connie St Louis/Harriet Bailey
I have been a member of the ABSW most of my life, and a member of its board or executive since 2001. In terms of posts held, I was treasurer for seven years and became president when Connie St Louis stepped down in January this year. I am grateful to Connie for the great shape in which the ABSW finds itself, and for her current support for my candidacy. As your treasurer, I was finance director of the World Conference of Science Journalists in London in 2009. The surplus from this event has transformed the financial position of the ABSW, and has allowed us to launch activities such as the UK Conference of Science Journalists. I am a member of the World Federation’s finance and development committee. The profession of science writing is of growing importance in the UK and around the world. My aim as president would be to encourage new ways of enhancing our skills, and the esteem in which our members are held. Who knows? The result might even be better-paid science writers. My work is international and I am especially keen to encourage our two-way learning with colleagues in the developing world. But there are also steps we can take to make things easier for science writers in the UK, such as adding to the roster of publishers whose journals our members can access in advance, and by growing the number and scope of our professional development events. I would aim as president to be responsive to the needs of our members as new priorities arise, which they inevitably will given the rapid pace at which communications needs and habits are changing. I want the ABSW to be a visible participant in forming the new science writing landscape. It is an immense honour to be president of the ABSW, and I would very much like your support to continue in the post for a proper term of office. There’s more about me at www.martinince.eu.
Connie St Louis
Nominators: Martin Ince/Beki Hill
I have served on the board of the ABSW for the last four years, first as the Treasurer and then as the President. During this time I am proud to have overseen the overhaul of the governance of the ABSW, including the transition to being a limited company, and to be leaving the association in excellent good financial and organizational shape. I have decided to resign as President in order to complete a PhD, which will demand a large input of my time and attention over in the next six months. There is, however, important unfinished governance work still to be completed in Europe, which I am asking for your support to complete over the coming months.
Nominators: Richa Malhotra/Josh Howgego
In my two years on the board, I have commissioned and edited news stories for the website, helped redesign the website, instigated the launch the new student science publication awards, and organised a student science magazine stand at the UKCSJ2012. I have campaigned for a more open and rational use of ABSW funds: by freezing a large portion of them in a savings account and using the interest to fund activities for members, e.g. travel grants. I have also campaigned for more members-polling on issues such as setting up new grants to see what the members would like to see the association do for them. I voted for more support to members, for example for ABSW to subsidise EUSJA grants so they are cost-free to members, and for fellowships to attend the WCSJ in Helsinki. I am sorry that these did not go through, despite ABSW being in a comfortable position where it could offer more kickbacks to its members. I have also advocated for a better international integration, with our twinned organisation in Uganda and the European EUSJA, whose membership we pay into. Currently, I am working on draft policy on how to respond to pitches from special-interest donors wishing to start new science-writing prizes. I am keen to keep trying to make the board more responsive to its members and press on with supporting student and early-career members as well as more prudent use of resources, by actually increasing spending but on activities members call for.
Nominators: Martin Ince/Mico Tatalovic
I've been on the committee/board for some years. Since my journalism specialty is anything to do with the Internet (policy or technology), my primary function and the reason I was originally drafted onto it is to help with technical matters regarding the ABSW's use of IT (including the Web site, social media, etc.) I believe my secondary function is to ask pesky questions. For a bio, credits, and links to samples of my work, please see my Web site, www.pelicancrossing.net.
Nominators: Mark Peplow/Richard Van Noorden
I’m a freelancer, having previously been on staff at Nature and Chemistry World, and would like to be more closely involved with the science writing community by joining the board of the ABSW as a general member. I hope that I’d be able to represent a broad group of writers, including those who like me are enjoying the freedom of working for themselves outside the confines of London: both things that whilst invigorating also bring with them challenges. If elected, I would support the general activities of the board in whatever way I can. There are some specific areas that I’d like to address given the chance. Freelance rates are an area of concern and I would like to help ABSW keep a closer eye on them, and if appropriate go some way to addressing the unsustainable direction in which they seem to be headed. As a new mother, I’d also like to think of ways that ABSW can support other working parents – perhaps by simply offering an ear or advice to those who might feel overwhelmed, or by organising a range of other more ambitious initiatives. My experience as a writer is wide-ranging, and has involved most recently establishing a successful and varied freelance career whilst spending large chunks of time outside the UK. Previously I tackled the demands of daily news and in-depth features at Nature, and editing and writing news and features on the small team at Chemistry World. My education was largely science-focussed: I have a BSc and PhD in chemistry and learned my journalism skills on-the-job. I have spent time mentoring new writers, and given advice to researchers about dealing with the media. I hope that my experience will allow me to relate to a broad sweep of the ABSW membership and make me a valuable member of the ABSW executive board.
Nominators: Martin Ince/Connie St Louis
I have been Treasurer of the ABSW for the past year, taking over from Jacob Aron's sterling work in January 2013. In that time we have, as a Board and with advice from our accountants, streamlined the accounts and made them more comprehensible for the auditors and members so that it's clear where the ABSW funds are coming from and being spent. There is still more to do to further consolidate the accounts so that they are comparable to previous years and I hope to be able to help the ABSW achieve this over the next year. I've learnt a great deal about how an organisation works through being involved on the Board and what is necessary for the smooth operation of the finances. Along with the Bookkeeper, we have a simple and effective system for checking and processing transactions. I've been a member of the ABSW for three years since my Science Journalism MA at City University and am a freelance Researcher for science television. The ABSW is a great organisation to be part of and I am grateful for the opportunity I've had over the past year to meet so many successful and inspiring science writers from across the country.
Nominators: Penny Sarchet/Mun-Keat Looi
I am a current member of the board, and have responsibility for organising events for the ABSW. I have been a member of the ABSW since 2010, when I was a student on the City University science journalism course. I now write about science policy and research funding at Research Fortnight and Research Europe magazines. As a general board member, I hope to represent the younger generation of reporters. In my role as events organiser, I have organised a number of events, including 'In conversation with John Beddington' as part of the Science Museum Lates, and the UKCSJ 'Dragon's Den' pitching session. I believe I have the necessary skills in planning and event organising to continue in this position, and if I am re-elected, I would like to establish a more regular series of ABSW events, something I am already working towards. I'd like the ABSW board to work more closely with its members, and would be very happy to hear members' thoughts and suggestions on future events or topics. I'd also like to see more engagement with specialist reporters across the country, and am keen to think about events that are less London-centric.