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Statement from the ABSW Board regarding EUSJA
The Association of British Science Writers has been a member of the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations (EUSJA), for many years and pays an annual fee for its membership.  The ABSW is also a member of the World Federation of Science Journalists, the organisation behind the World Conference of Science Journalists that the ABSW held successfully in London in 2009.   The ABSW is keen to ensure that there is added value to its members from belonging to such international groups.
On March 27 2014 the board of the ABSW met and decided that the membership of EUSJA is no longer in the ABSW’s interests. EUSJA has been notified of this decision.
The ABSW is in discussion with some other European associations with the aim of forming a new European Federation of Science Journalism.
Martin Ince
President, on behalf of the ABSW Board

Shortlist announced for 2014 ABSW Science Writers' Awards

Association of British Science Writers - Shortlist Announced for 2014 Journalism Awards

The judging panel has met and decided the shortlists for the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2014.

Connie St Louis, Chair of the Judging Panel and Programme Director, MA Science Journalism, City University, London, said: "Since receiving support from Janssen Research and Development to re-establish our Awards in 2010, they have gone from strength to strength. The number of categories for entry has doubled from five to ten over the past five years, with new awards this year for blogging and student science publications. Next year we will be introducing a category of European Science Journalist of the Year to further expand our celebration of great science journalism to the rest of Europe."

The winners will be announced at the ABSW Science Writers' Awards Ceremony on 18th June in London, following the ABSW’s biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists.

Best feature 

Stuart Clark, Freelance for Ear on the Universe, published by New Scientist, 21-09-2013

Jessa Gamble, Researcher at Arup for The End of Sleep? published by Aeon Magazine (online), 10-04-2013

Michael Le Page, Biology and environment editor at New Scientist for The lowdown on the slowdown published by New Scientist, 07-12-2013

Best news item

Ewen Callaway, Senior Reporter, Nature, for Deal done over HeLa cell line published by Nature 07-08-2013

Robin McKie, Science and Technology Editor, The Observer, for Gene Wars: the last ditch battle over who owns the rights to our DNA published by The Observer, 21-04-2013

Ian Sample, Science Correspondent, The Guardian, for US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban published by The Guardian, 05-10-2013

The best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Team Entry: Paul Olding (Writer/Producer/Director), Freelance and Michael Scott (Presenter/Writer), Historian, for The Mystery of Rome’s X Tombs broadcast BBC Two, 29-07-2013

Team Entry: Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent, RTÉ and Paul Deighan, RTÉ news cameraman, for Irish scientists at CERN’s cutting edge broadcast on Nationwide on RTÉ1, 18-10-2013

Team Entry: Jacqueline Smith (Executive Producer, BBC Television and Series Producer), Nathan Budd (Producer), James Logan (Presenter), for Insect Dissection: How Insects Work broadcast BBC Four, 20-03-2013. The programme was a co-production between BBC Four and Discovery Science.

The Royal Society Radio Prize

(NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society):

Team Entry: Alex Bellos (Writer/Research) and Andrew Luck-Baker (BBC Radio Producer) for Nirvana by Numbers broadcast BBC Radio 4, 07-10-2013

Team Entry: Anne McNaught (BBC Radio Scotland Producer) and Euan McIlwraith (Presenter) for Scotland’s Wildlife: Supporting Native Species, broadcast BBC Schools Radio, Scotland, 26-09-2013

Team Entry: Kerri Smith (Audio Editor/Journalist, Nature) and Charlotte Stoddart (Audio Editor/Journalist, Nature), for Nature PastCast: May 1985, published by Nature Podcasts, 17-05-2013

Best investigative journalism

Alison Abbott, Senior European Correspondent at Nature for Italian Stem-Cell Trial based on flawed data published Nature News website, 02-07-2013

Steve Connor, Science Editor at the Independent for Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science published by the Independent, 25-01-2013

Team Entry: Mike Power (Writer), Bobbie Johnson (Editor), Kristen French (Fact checker), Tim Heffernan (Copy editor) for Uncontrolled Substances published by MATTER, 25-10-2013

The NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication and reporting of science in a non-science context

This Award is made in memory of Stephen White a highly influential science communicator who sadly died in 2010.   The Award is possible due to a donation from Stephen’s widow Elizabeth.

Team Entry: Michelle Martin (BBC Science Radio Producer), Tracey Logan (Presenter) for Technicolour broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30-01-2013

Team Entry: Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent, RTÉ and Paul Deighan, RTÉ news cameraman, for Irish scientists at CERN’s cutting edge broadcast Nationwide on RTÉ1, 18-10-2013

Christopher White, freelance, for The complete guide to DNA for family historians published by Your Family Tree Magazine, 27-03-2013

Best newcomer

Melissa Hogenboom, Assistant Producer/Science reporter BBC. Read Melissa's articles here:

Joanne O’Dea, Formerly of ScienceBusiness currently Freelance

Jennifer Whyntie, Assistant Producer, BBC.  Listen to programmes in which Jennifer had a role from researcher to producer:

The Good Thinking student science blog

supported by Good Thinking (new award for 2014)

Sarah Hearne, PhD student, Department of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin, for Sea Serpents off the Port Bow! Published by, 01-11-2013

Lauren Hoskin, MSc Science Communication, Imperial College London, for The changing flora of obesity, published by, 25-09-2013

Matthew Warren, DPhil Student, University of Oxford, for Synchrotrons, ships and sulphur: Using a particle accelerator to help conserve the Mary Rose, published by, 14-10-2013

Best science blog

(new award for 2014)

Not Exactly Rocket Science (Individual Entry) Ed Yong. Published by National Geographic

Cancer Research UK Science Blog (Team Entry) Editorial Team: Henry Scowcroft, Kat Arney, Oliver Childs, Nick Peel. Published by Cancer Research UK

Head Quarters (Team Entry) Core Bloggers: Chris Chambers, Molly Crockett, Pete Etchells, Thalia Gjersoe. Published by The Guardian

The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics (new award for 2014):

theGIST, printed magazine (University of Strathclyde & University of Glasgow). Editors: Timothy Revell, Emilie Steinmark, Alan Boyd 

Spark Magazine, printed magazine (University of York). Team Entry: Will Ingram (Editor), Matt Ravenhall (Editor), Ellen Rawlins (Photography Editor), Tree Jervis (Web Editor), Jess Wynn (Content Editor)

Women Rock Science (online publication). Editor, Hadiza Mohammed

Life Time Achievement Award

There is no short list for the Award as ABSW members nominate and the ABSW Board decides upon the winner. The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2014 attracted nearly 200 entries.  An independent panel of science journalists and science communicators judged the entries based on originality, appeal to a broad audience, novelty of subject matter, likely impact, style, content, entertainment, balance and depth of reporting.

Award winners will receive a certificate and a small cash prize and enter the ABSW hall of fame that includes previous award winners Sir David Attenborough, Sir John Maddox (Nature) and Judith Hann (BBC Tomorrow’s World).

Full details of the rules and regulations for the awards and a full list of judges can be found at


About the Institute of Physics –

The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

About IOP Publishing –

IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Physics. It provides a range of journals, conference proceedings, magazines, websites, books and other services that enable researchers and research organisations to achieve the biggest impact for their work.

The Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society’s strategic priorities emphasise its commitment to the highest quality science, to curiosity-driven research, and to the development and use of science for the benefit of society.

These priorities are:

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement

For further information visit
Follow the Royal Society on Twitter at or on Facebook at

UK Conference of Science Journalists (UKCSJ14)

A full day of discussion and debate for up to 300 journalists, with three key aims:

  • To discuss and debate contemporary issues in science journalism
  • To encourage and provide skills for newcomers
  • To promote professional development

The full programme and registration details can be found at the Conference website

ABSW AGM 2014 - Agenda

Date and time: Thu 27 March 2014 19:00 onwards
Venue: The Science Museum's Dana Centre, 165 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London, SW7 5HD
Invited: All ABSW members 
NB: Only full and life members and the Honorary President may vote. Quorum for the meeting is 10 voting members
1 Apologies for Absence
3 Matters Arising
4 President’s Report
Connie St Louis/Martin Ince
Harriet Bailey
6 Auditors' Report
Pete Wrobel/Michael Kenward
7 Election of Executive Board
Martin Ince
All posts on the Executive Board are elected annually at the AGM. This is the first year in which the Board has run its election process on line. In accordance with the Standing Orders nominations opened on 27 January 2014 and closed on 17 February 2014.  The following individuals stood for election:
Martin Ince – President
Connie St Louis – European Representative
Harriet Bailey – Treasurer
Beki Hill/Mico Tatalovic/Wendy Grossman/Katherine Sanderson – general post on the Board (7 maximum available)
There are therefore no contested posts and no candidates for Vice President or Secretary.  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 earlier this month 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 those who have now left the Executive Board: Julia Durbin (Secretary), Jeremy Webb (Vice President), Mun Keat Looi, Helen Pearson, Matt Ravenhall.   The ABSW would also like to thank the appointed tellers who oversaw the election John Bonner and Andy Coghlan.
8 Appointment of Auditors 
Martin Ince
The AGM are asked to approve the appointment of the auditors for the financial year 2014. 
(NB: Auditors for 2013 were Pete Wrobel and Sunny Bains.   Sunny Bains resigned in March 2014 and Michael Kenward agreed to act as auditor)    
9 Appointment of Honorary President
Martin Ince
The AGM are asked to approve the re-appointment of Professor Colin Blakemore as Honorary President of the ABSW for a further term of three years.
10 Appointment of Life Members 
Martin Ince
The AGM are asked to approve the following individuals for Life Membership:
Connie St Louis (Former Treasurer & President) 
Natasha Loder (Former President)
Peter Cooper (Secretary from 1980 to 1984; Auditor from 1989 to 2013)
Peter Briggs (Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor over a period of 25 years from 1986 until 2011)
11 Any Other Business
12 Date of Next AGM - March 2015

ABSW Executive Board Elections: Candidates 2014

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):
Martin Ince – President
Connie St Louis – European Representative
Harriet Bailey – Treasurer
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.
For queries regarding the elections or the AGM please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin Ince

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  

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.

Mico Tatalovic

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.  

Wendy Grossman

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,

Katharine Sanderson

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.

Harriet Bailey

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.

Beki Hill

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.

ABSW Investigative Science Journalism Fellowship - Open for Applications

The Association of British Science Writers would like to encourage investigative science journalism within the UK and has therefore established a Fellowship to enable a journalist experienced in investigative journalism to carry out a detailed investigation.  It is hoped that the Fellowship will be made annually however this will be reviewed after year one.  The Fellowship is to support an experienced journalist who would otherwise not be able to carry out this work (ie: employer cannot support the necessary timescale/freelancer that cannot financially support themselves for a longer term investigation).   The ABSW is also looking at ways of encouraging newcomers to the field and of encouraging investigative journalism in science more widely.
There will be two stages to the Fellowship Programme:   
In stage one three individuals will be selected and provided with ‘seed funding’ to further develop their proposal and to secure commitment from an editor for publication or broadcast of their investigation.  
In stage two one individual will be selected to receive full funding to complete their investigation. The Fellowship is open to ABSW full members whether they are staff or freelance (to join the ABSW see here). You may apply for the Fellowship whilst your application for ABSW membership is considered; you do not have to wait for confirmation of membership. 
Applicants need to be currently based and working within the UK and remain so for the duration of the project. The Fellowship does not support overseas travel and proposals need to have implications nationally or locally within the UK.
Applying for the Fellowship (stage one):
To apply for the Fellowship the applicant must write a detailed proposal for the full investigation that they wish to carry out.  NB: Even though this is for stage one ‘seed funding’ the ABSW will require full details of the investigation that would be undertaken at stage two.
The ABSW encourages proposals that offer groundbreaking stories. However, if the subject has been covered previously, please acknowledge that coverage and explain how the proposed investigation would significantly advance the story. 
Proposals must be journalistic and break ‘news’ and be able to be completed within three months (full time) or the equivalent timescale if being completed part time. NB: Flexibility will be built into the stage two fellowship so that the investigation can be completed.  Reviews at various time points will be built into the stage two fellowship to monitor progress and allow for any time extension deemed necessary by the ABSW 
The proposal should outline the story, what you expect to uncover, how this will be done, and the types of sources to be used.  The ABSW will expect evidence of a strong case for the investigation which will require the applicant to already have carried out some initial investigative work to support their case.   The stage one fellowship will not support initial development of a ‘hunch’ or ‘idea’.  The proposal should outline the further work that the seed funding would support to develop the investigation.
Proposals should not run to more than 1000 words and should include, details of the exiting evidence already gathered by the journalist, a paragraph or two summarizing the crux of the story and details of how the seed funding would be used.  
Include the anticipated start and completion date of the full investigation in the proposal. 
Proposals will remain the intellectual property of the applicant and will be treated with the strictest confidence.
The ABSW will expect the applicant to have considered any legal implications of their investigation and to have outlined them within the proposal. The ABSW will have no legal responsibility for the actions of the Fellow or the final published/broadcast work.
The proposal must be supported by the following documents:
  • CV 
  • Detailed budget for the full investigation
  • Two examples of published/broadcast investigative work 
The budget should give a detailed breakdown of the costs identified by the journalist for carrying out the full investigation, the main costs will be expected to be a salary costs for freelancers and for staff journalists who will be required to take an agreed unpaid sabbatical from their employer to complete the project (either full or part time).
The Fellowship will not cover capital costs such as the purchase of computers/cameras etc but could for example include the purchase of software for data analysis.  
In the case of journalists with staff positions the application for the Fellowship must be discussed and agreed with their employer before submission.  The ABSW will of course discuss the Fellowship with your employer if they have particular queries or concerns. 
Selection/Notification Process:
From the stage one proposals three individuals will be selected to receive seed funding of between £500 and £1000 to further develop their ideas and to obtain a statement of commitment from an editor stating that the project will be published or broadcast if completed according to the proposal and in accordance with the outlet’s news standards (the editors contact details will also be required and the ABSW reserves the right to contact the editor if necessary).  
Those selected to receive ‘seed funding’ will be notified within a month of the closing date for applications and will be required to further develop their proposal for submission to the ABSW within one month of payment of the seed funding.
Stage one awardees will be notified within one month of submission of their secondary proposal re their success or otherwise in receiving the full funding (stage two).
Payment of stage one Fellowship funding:
Payment will be made in full for those selected for stage one ‘seed funding’
Payment of stage two Fellowship funding:
Two thirds of the funding will be made to the successful applicant at the outset of the fellowship period.   The remaining third will be paid on the successful completion of the project.
Application Process:
Please ensure you have read all of the above requirements before completing the application form.  You are strongly advised to prepare your proposal, budget and CV in a separate programme so that you may then save it and copy and paste into the application form.   The application form can not save part completed applications.
Closing Date: Midnight Tuesday 30th September 2014
Notification of Fellowship seed funding (one month after closing date)
All enquiries should be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Martin Ince appointed Acting President of ABSW

Martin Ince was appointed acting President of the ABSW at this week's ABSW Board meeting.
Connie St Louis former President of the ABSW, tendered her resignation at the Board meeting as the demands of her PhD and full time post at City University would no longer allow her to fulfil the duties required of ABSW President. The standing orders of the ABSW allow for the Board to appoint an individual to act as President until a new President is elected and appointed at the AGM (27th March) and the Board appointed long standing Board member Martin Ince.   Martin also intends to stand as President in the forthcoming elections so that he may have the opportunity to continue in this role.
The Board are extremely grateful for all the work that Connie has done as ABSW President and there will be a great opportunity to thank her properly and celebrate all she has done at the AGM in March.

ABSW late Xmas Party

Join ABSW members at the traditional 'we missed the deadline' late Xmas Party.

Date: Wednesday 22 January 2014

Time: 19:00 onwards

Venue: The Somerstown Coffee House (close to Euston and Kings Cross)

Details:  There will be a small fund behind the bar and a light buffet (many thanks to Mun Keat Looi, ABSW party organiser)
Do hope you can join others from the ABSW to squeeze the very last out of the Festive season.

ABSW AGM Thursday 27 March 2014

The date of the ABSW AGM will be Thursday 27th March 2014.   Of course further reminders and details will follow but for those who like to forward plan then you can put this date in the diary.   It will be an evening meeting in London, venue tbc.   The AGM is a key meeting at which the members of the Board are elected and the President reports on the year's activities along with presentation of the accounts and a report from the ABSW auditors.

For more on the governance of the ABSW see the Memorandum, Articles and Standing Orders of the Association.


ABSW New Year Party 2013

We are pleased to announce that the ABSW New Year Party will be held on Monday 21st January 2013. Find out more...

Register to

Reminder: Special General Meeting / Seminars - 3rd May 2011


Please see below the text of the email which we are trying to send out to all ABSW members regarding the Special General Meeting to be held on 3rd May 2011, followed by a choice of 2 Seminars.

The attachments mentioned in the email will also be posted on this site seperately.  


Please see below the link to the Wufoo form whereby you can select your choice of Seminar, should you be able to attend.


Email from Connie St Louis (Chair): 

Register to

Important notice to all ABSW members

Important notice to all ABSW members

Friday, 21st January 2011

We have finally succeeded in establishing a new company called ABSW Ltd alongside the old ABSW, which as you may recall is an unincorporated body without limited liability, as instructed by the 2010 AGM. Now we come to the tricky bit.

The old ABSW has a constitution about members, officers etc which has been refined over the years. But the articles of association of the new firm are a standard piece of boilerplate about directors’ duties, quorum for the meetings, etc. They make no reference to the members or the executive and put all power in the hands of the directors, Connie and Natasha.

The new company is limited by guarantee so it cannot distribute any profits. We may choose to reform it as a Community Interest Company, but rest assured that the final structure will definitely be some form of non-profit setup in which all our money is used to develop science journalism.

I have agreed to think about how we get the new company into the shape it needs to be in to meet our needs, and I need your help. I don’t (at the moment) want any detailed legal or constitutional advice, although I would be glad to hear from anyone who is an aficionado in this area. Instead, I want to know what you want from the new-style ABSW.

At the moment we have a distinguished president (Colin Blakemore), a committee, some statutory officers such as the chair, vice chair and treasurer, and whatever ad hoc posts (events, student liaison) we feel like. We have an AGM and about half a dozen executive meetings per year. It is tempting to replicate this setup in the new structure, but is it what we want? Our aim is to advance science journalism, for the benefit of the profession and of the public. We now do this in a very different way from in the past, for example via the UKCSJ and online and via social media. We are more of a network organisation: how should our structure reflect this? What about our membership categories (full, student, associate etc)?

So – how much of our past way of doing things meets our needs and should be kept, and how much innovation is needed? Most importantly for me, how do the members get to be involved and feel part of everything?

I need your input on this and would be grateful for any thoughts, to the list or to me as below.

We need to crack on with this as I am going to report to the Executive on January 31. Let me have your ideas this month please. My replies may be a little slow as I shall be on jury service, so be sure not to commit any crime in South London for a few weeks.



Martin Ince, Committee, ABSW

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