Science press offic’ing and the first truly personal post

I have strayed from the title of this blog before, and I think it is very likely because this is my first blogging adventure, and to specify a topic may not have been the smartest idea. Then again, I mentioned at the very beginning that this place was going to be a writing outlet for me, so I will am simply going to do that – write.

You may have noticed that updates are few and far between, but I can assure you that it is not because I do not care, but because time is an issue. Presently, I am being a masters student trying to put together a big project, and simultaneously a press officer at my university; both of which are harder than they sound. (I considered “harder than they look”, but then again I am not making them look particularly easy…) Perhaps here I can make that my link back to the blog topic: being a press officer with some speciality in science.

What I have found, and I did expect this, is that everybody thinks their research is the most important. While I tend to agree on that point – every research story carries importance in one way or another – I do think that scientsts should sometimes realise their own limitations too. The usual process is that we (in the office) receive academic papers, we read them and distil them into a newsworthy story (or at least we try out hardest to do so, depending on the research, but we believe it is always possible), then ask the academic in question for a quote, and then send them a draft to proof read.

The tricky, twitchy bit : we reserve the right to veto the final copy and remove any tampering we do not think represents the University well enough. That includes re-wording quotes. We NEVER change the gist of the quote, nor do we displace the emphasis, but if it sounds, for instance too cocky, we are allowed to tone it down.

This is a part of what I have learned so far at work. Apart from the fact that it is commonplace to be, figuratively, on an IV-drip of coffee during working hours.

Something like this, but even more hard core. Oh yes.

Finally, a word on running, considering I started mentioning it here. I am now on week 9 of the Couch to 5k plan, and deeply recommend it to anybody who is interesting in kick-starting their fitness regime/willing to listen or read. I have found it a very rewarding experience, and will definitely continue running. I might even go back and use the week 1 podcast, but do running intervals to keep upping my fitness level.

Hope everybody is enjoying summer.


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