The ABSW held its Annual General Meeting on 18 April 2023 at the Wellcome Collection, London, followed by drinks and socialising.
ABSW Chair, Andy Extance, kicked off the meeting by outlining the successes of the previous 75th anniversary year:
- Celebrated with the flagship event of the year, the Witness Seminar and anniversary party
- Published the guide to becoming a science writer
- Took over the media fellowships formerly run by the British Science Association.
- Published a 75th anniversary booklet
- Launched the Young Science Writer of the Year Award
- Held the first physical conference since the pandemic, the UK Conference of Science Journalists
- Ran the 2022 awards, with 310 entries across 15 categories
- Started the monthly showcase to promote the work of members
- Launched the editors' forum, to serve the members with more senior responsibility
- Began a Discord server as a new online forum for members to meet and share ideas
Looking ahead, the ABSW will be holding the biennial ABSW Summer School this year, and restarting our mentorship scheme. Discussions are underway about a strategic review, including the idea of payments for the Chair and perhaps other board members too.
Treasurer, JV Chamary, reported that the ABSW is in a strong financial position, with annual income being on an upward trend for the last 10 years. JV outlined how the ABSW may invest in the membership going forward:
- Offer a fee or honorarium to all speakers panellists and course organisers
- Run events that promote career development, as well as holding more social activities
- Take the Young Science Writer Award national
- Host the World Conference of Science Journalists
With great thanks to Pallab Ghosh, BBC Science Correspondent, as he stood down as the ABSW's Honorary President at the AGM, and congratulations to Roger Highfield as he starts in the role! Roger is former Science Editor of the Telegraph, and Editor of New Scientist, and now Science Director at the Science Museum Group.
We also welcome new Board members:
- Deborah Cohen - Secretary
- JV Chamary - Treasurer
- Ben Deighton - European Representative
- Benjamin Plackett - Board member
- Tom Whipple - Board member
- Aisling Irwin - Board member
Congratulations to Wendy Grossman for being appointed Life Member of the ABSW.
In 1987 Wendy founded the magazine The Sceptic, and has also worked in TV and radio, written for Scientific American, The Guardian, New Scientist, Daily Telegraph, and Wired. Wendy was a member of the Board for 23 years, from 1998 to 2022.