ScienceWriters magazine

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ScienceWriters magazine

The relationship between a freelance writer and a publisher thrives on mutual respect, clear expectations, and professional behavior on both sides. That's the ideal. But it doesn't always work out that way, and writers sometimes end up getting what they consider to be unfair treatment.

Born as the idea of a handful of senior university PR officials and billed as an alternative source for science news in a world supposedly hemorrhaging science writers, the Futurity website offers up four or five new research stories daily, fresh from the country's major research universities.

Paula Apsell, Beryl Lieff Benderly, Linda Billings, Deborah Blum, James Cornell, and Jeff Grabmeier have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). All are members of Section Y (General Interest in Science and Engineering). They will receive formal recognition of this honor at a ceremony during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego, Feb. 18-22.

Explaining Research (Oxford University Press, 2010), began its eccentric evolution as a modest booklet-sized manuscript that I planned to self-publish; but ended up as a 368-page book produced by a major academic publisher. The tale of that evolution, I think, offers useful lessons for authors who face a daunting new era of self-publishing technology and an economically depressed publishing industry.

On his first day in office in January, President Barack Obama went to work for science writers as he issued a directive on transparency and access to government information. The new president issued an Executive Memo on "Openness and Transparency," reversing a Bush-era rule that favored secrecy over disclosure for requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Carey Goldberg knew the Boston Globe was in a full-blown financial crisis. Still, she was shocked when told in March that she had been laid off along with the rest of the Globe's part-timers. Effective immediately. No severance pay. Please schedule a time with security to collect your things.