News and Events

As part of its ongoing work to encourage investigative science journalism, the ABSW is offering four journalism fellowships to fund attendance at this year's Centre for Investigative (CIJ) Journalism Summer Conference.

The CIJ Summer Conference

#CIJSummer Conference 2016 takes place from 14-16 July 2016 within the Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths, University of London.

The CIJ Summer Conference is the UK’s only training investigative journalism event with an emphasis on teaching investigative skills.

This year the Conference will focus on data skills: from hands-on workshops to case studies. As always, the Conference will teach core investigative techniques, including how to conduct financial investigations, covert filming, investigative methodology and more.

Keynote speakers:

Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier of Süddeutsche Zeitung, the two journalists who broke the Panama Papers story 

US investigative journalist, author and double Pulitzer Prize winner James B Steele

Editor-in-chief of The Intercept, Betsy Reed


Hajo Seppelt - German journalist and author and a specialist on doping in German and international sport
The Ferret - Scottish investigative journalism cooperative. As part of the new models for investigative journalism programme
Joe Plomin - BBC Panorama journalist will talk about covert filming

See the CIJ website for further updates as speakers are confirmed

The topics covered:

- Data journalism (formerly computer assisted reporting)
- Web scraping
- Open Data
- Financial journalism, including tax evasion
- Libel and privacy law
- Story-based inquiry with new hands-on classes
- Access to information laws, including FOIA
- Covert filming
- Corruption in sport

See the CIJ website as further sessions are confirmed.

Past Delegates Feedback 2015:

"Fantastic, inspiring, progressive, forward-thinking and very well organised."
"Probably the best and most valuable event of my life. Quality programme, quality people, well organised."
"The biggest disappointment was having to be in three places at once!"
"Absolutely brilliant and utterly inspiring."
"Well worth the money!"

The ABSW science journalism fellowship

The ABSW journalism fellowship is open to ABSW members only, however you may apply for ABSW membership, and whilst you are waiting to hear regarding your membership make your application for the fellowship. You do not need to wait to hear the outcome of your ABSW membership application before completing the journalism fellowship application.

To apply for the ABSW journalism fellowship please complete the application form by the closing date of 17:00 Wed 1 June 2016.

You will be informed of the outcome of the application by 17:00 Wed 15 June 2016. 



The ABSW Annual General Meeting and social will take place on Thursday 7 April 18:30 for 19:00 start upstairs at The Lamb, 94 Lamb's Conduit St, London, WC1N 3LZ.   In accordance with the ABSW Standing Orders the Agenda is published here three weeks in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions or queries about the AGM please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   To attend the AGM please RSVP



Date and time: Thu 7 April 2016 18:30 for 19:00 start
Venue: The Lamb, 94 Lamb's Conduit St, London, WC1N 3LZ (upstairs room and bar)

Drinks and buffet provided

Invited: All ABSW members

NB: Only full and life members may vote. Quorum for the meeting is 10 voting members

1 Apologies for Absence

2 Minutes of the Last ABSW AGM held on 26 March 2015

3 Matters Arising

4 President’s Report
Martin Ince

5 Treasurer’s Report
Victoria Parsons

Statutory accounts prepared by ABSW accountants: Bowyer Pounds Ltd

Profit and loss comparison 2014/2015

Committee Expenses and Payments 2015

Proposed budget 2016

6 Auditors’ Report
Pete Wrobel/Michael Kenward

Auditors Report

7 Proposed Amendments to the ABSW Standing Orders

Martin Ince

After consultation with ABSW members the Executive Board is proposing the following changes to the ABSW Standing Orders to simplify disciplinary procedures and remove the role of honorary president.

Disciplinary procedures

Delete all existing text in Standing Order 16 and replace with:

16 Disciplinary Procedure
At its sole discretion, the board may, by a simple majority vote, expel any member whose behaviour has in its opinion brought the ABSW into serious disrepute; it will account to the next AGM for its action. The decision will be duly recorded in the Executive Board and AGM Minutes. Any member so expelled will have the right to appeal the decision at the next AGM.

Amendments to remove post of honorary president

Amend standing order 2:

2. ABSW members entitled to vote are Life Members, and Full Members who have paid the correct subscription within the previous 18 months, and the Honorary President. Student, Associate and Corporate members may not vote.

Amend standing order 9:

9. The ABSW will have the following categories of member. All new members must be approved by the Executive Board.
Honorary President

The AGM shall appoint a President of the Association, who will hold office for a period of three years. The Honorary President can be re-appointed for further terms of three years.
The rest of this standing order remains

Amend standing order 10:
10. The subscription for each category of membership shall be determined annually by the Executive Board. The Board has the power to waive subscriptions. The Honorary President and Life Members will not pay a subscription.

Action: The AGM are asked to approve these amendments to the standing orders.

8 Election of Executive Board
Martin Ince

All posts on the Executive Board are elected annually at the AGM. This is the third year in which the Board has run its election process on line. In accordance with the Standing Orders nominations opened on 25 January 2016 and closed on 22 February 2016. The following individuals stood for election:

Martin Ince – President
Mico Tatalovic – Vice President
Connie St Louis – European Representative
Aisling Irwin - Secretary
Wendy Grossman/Katharine Sanderson/Victoria Parsons/Jack Serle/Lou del Bello/Cristina Gallardo/Emma Stoye – general post on the Board (7 maximum available)

View the candidates statements

There are therefore no contested posts and no candidates for Treasurer. There is no specific guidance in the Standing Orders on procedure where posts are not contested or no nominations received. The Executive Board agreed the following procedure and this was approved by the appointed election tellers (Andy Coughlan/John Bonner)

Action Taken/Required:
Details of the nominations were placed on the ABSW website in mid-March and the AGM is now asked to ratify these individuals to comprise the new Executive Board. At the first meeting of the new Executive Board after this AGM the Board will consider co-opting individuals to cover vacant posts

The ABSW would like to express its thanks to Victoria Parsons for her previous work as Treasurer and to retiring Executive Board members Beki Hill – particularly for her role in organizing ABSW Events, and Joshua Howgego – particularly for his liaison work with the Ugandan Science Journalists’ Association with whom the ABSW is twinned.

9 Election of Auditors
Martin Ince

The AGM are asked to elect two auditors for 2016 (auditors may not be members of the Executive Board). Pete Wrobel and Michael Kenward acted as auditors in 2015 and have both indicated they can act in this role for a further year, however the posts are open to any full member of the ABSW.

Action: Ask if any members wish to stand as auditor for 2016, take a vote to decide who should be appointed to this role

10 Appointment of Life Members
Martin Ince

The ABSW Board has no nominations for Life Members in 2016

11 Date of Next AGM
March 2017

12 Any Other Business






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.


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


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

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
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





3rd European Conference of Science Journalists 2016

Registrations now open

Saturday 23 July 10:00-18:00, Manchester Central, Manchester, M2 3GX, UK
The 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists (ECSJ) will be held as a satellite event at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF).   The Conference jointly organized by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and the European Union of Science Journalist Associations (EUSJA), replaces the ABSW’s biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists, extending its reach to journalists throughout Europe.


The 1st European Conference of Science Journalists was held as a satellite event to ESOF 2014 in Denmark.   The event, jointly organized by the Danish Science Journalists’ Association (DV) and the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations (EUSJA), discussed new ways to improve the status of science in broadcast media, how to start your own science publication, the opportunities of investigative journalism, the ethical balance between science journalism and science communication and new initiatives for improvement of gender balance for science in the media.
The 2nd European Conference of Science Journalists, organized by the Hungarian Club of Science Journalists and EUSJA, was held in Budapest as part of the World Science Forum in 2015.   The conference examined stakeholder-driven communication, the communication of infectious diseases, the reporting of climate change and the role of the journalist as an entrepreneur. 
3rd European Conference of Science Journalists Programme
The 3rd ECSJ has four key aims:
To discuss and debate contemporary issues in science journalism
• To encourage and provide skills for newcomers
• To promote professional development
• To enable journalists to link with colleagues, encouraging journalistic entrepreneurship 
The ABSW and EUSJA look forward to welcoming you to Manchester to meet with colleagues old and new and discover the common themes and issues affecting science journalists today and into the future.  
Contact the secretariat of the 3rd ECSJ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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